Sitting as part of the Hill-Smith wine empire, Smith & Hooper was established in 1994 in the Wrattonbully region of South Australia. The Smith and the Hooper families originally owned the vineyards, so it is a good thing that they are still family-owned. The nice thing about this label is that the wines are made from the 82-hectares of estate-grown fruit, which means it has a sense of regionality. Winemaker Natalie Cleghorn and vigneron James Freckleton fashion stunning Merlot, along with a Cabernet Merlot and a Pinot Grigio too, from this oft over-looked region. The styles are elegant and balanced without being overworked with oak.
CAMPBELL MATTINSON - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
Just a little more textural and bodied than usual, almost-but-not-quite into gris territory, which is no bad thing. Fruity but controlled. This is more like it.