Merlot was a late arrival to Australia and plantings were activated by a sudden rise in popularity in the U.S. in the 1980s. So sudden was the demand for Merlot in Australia that Orlando imported bulk Merlot from Italy for a few vintages until the vines were productive. Merlot is now widespread across Australian regions though the initial popular surge has died.
Thus, we find high quality parcels of Merlot from premium regions are offered to us at lower prices than low quality Shiraz. High quality and low prices is a sum we like, hence this remarkable wine from McLaren Vale, a district with a climate well suited to this variety.