2021 RIKARD Merlot Malbec


Our ever-evolving Orange label red-blend seeks to show the diversity that the Orange Wine Region can produce across its range of elevation. The red-fruited elegance of Merlot combines beautifully here with the power and structure of Malbec and all its blackcurrant and cherry characters.

Hand-picked and sorted into small, open fermenters. A long, cool fermentation before maturation in French oak barriques for 12 months. Extended elevage in tank to settle and clarify before bottling. No fining or filtration.


203 in stock


Our Orange label continues to evolve and continually allows us the wonderful opportunity to play around with different varieties and blends. In 2021, the season was long and very cool – affording the vines plenty of time to accumulate flavour. Ripeness was difficult to achieve in the later ripening varieties, however and so we took the decision to utilise Merlot and Malbec only for the blend, which tend to ripen mid-way through the season. Fruit comes from the Kywarra vineyard at 850m ASL.

As a pairing, these two varieties complement each other nicely. Structure and grainy tannins are provided by the Malbec component, along with a dark cherry fruit spectrum and savouriness in the mid palate. Merlot then brings juicy plushness, some spice, herbal characters and lovely acid profile. Together they marry extremely well.

Winemaking Notes:

  • Malbec and Merlot both harvested by hand 21st April 2021
  • Chilled overnight to four degrees C
  • Destemmed separately into one tonne open fermenters
  • Allowed to soak on skins until wild fermentation began.
  • Hand plunged twice daily until dry.
  • Pressed 15th April into tank and allowed to settle two days
  • Rack to French oak barriques (15% new)
  • Naturally occurring Malolactic fermentation
  • Sulphur added post malolactic fermentation and wines allowed to age for 14 months
  • Blended June 2022.
  • Settled in tank for 3 months before racking and bottling in October 2022
  • No fining. No filtration.



“Fruit from Kywarra vineyard at 850m above sea level. Davidson plums, mulberry and black cherry. A plethora of spices like cumin, ground cinnamon, mace and cocoa. Perfectly poised acidity and a swathe of cranberry and pomegranate add their tones to the palate. An insatiable wine with a silky flow and gracefulness. The marriage of these two varieties balanced in harmony is delightful to behold.”

93 points

Shanteh Wale – Halliday Wine Companion 2023