The 2010 Reserve Merlot was produced by Alain Rousseau under the Clarence House Reserve label. The Merlot grape ripened exceptionally in 2010 giving a distinctive flavour. About 10% of Cabernet Sauvignon was blended to increase the tannins. This Reserve wine was in French oak for 20 months and has the complexity associated with the mature Merlot grape. This wine will accompany most meats and can be drunk early or kept for up to 10 years.
Coal River Valley
Clarence House Estate was established in the early 1800’s on land at Clarence Plains, a fertile valley some 6kms east of the settlement of Hobart that is now becoming enveloped by suburban crawl. The clay and loam soils of Clarence Plains (Pass road, Rokeby) have provided over 200 years of sustainable traditional agriculture. The successful establishment of crops on Clarence Plains was vital to the survival of Hobart Town. When new settlers arrived from Norfolk Island in 1808, some were granted land in the Derwent Valley, and others upon Clarence Plains. “I never see so fine crops (sic); the season has been so very fine and plenty of grass.” Reverend Robert Knopwood, Clergyman, 1825. Originally the property was used as a market garden supplying businesses in Hobart Town. The present stables were built in 1828 and the house completed by 1832. It is now one of the 12 oldest houses in Australia. The property was purchased in the late 1990’s by consulting cardiologist, David Kilpatrick who established the vineyards and gardens. The first vines were planted in 1998 and the first wines produced in 2002. The vineyard is planted with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Spain's principle red grape varietal Tempranillo; a rarity in Tasmania. There is also a tiny amount of the rarer Pinot Blanc; one of the most important varieties in the cool, high wine country behind Venice in north-east Italy.