53% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc. Australian Merlots are a curious beast – perhaps a little like Shiraz, they can tend to be chameleon-like, morphing with region and idea of style. This one is from Pemberton in Western Australia.
The nose immediately establishes the wine’s savoury flavour profile. Genuine complexity draws one back to smell repeatedly, with savoury black fruits, leafiness and cigar box oak flavours intermingling and constantly shifting around. The linear entry opens out to a palate of medium to full body, with full yet not terribly sweet black fruit sitting alongside the same mix of leafy/green olive notes and relatively prominent oak as seen on the nose. Flavours are quite dense and of reasonable intensity. The wine’s structure at this stage is assertive, both from an acid and tannin perspective. The tannins are quite interesting in character, being relatively abundant, ripe, and moderately (but not overly) fine. They have a nice rustic edge, in fact. The wine shows a nice line with no dips through the palate, and finishes with good length.
The wine responded extremely well to a strongly flavoured pasta dish, the structure calming a little and the power of the fruit shining through. This is a very good wine with, I think, good potential for improvement through bottle age. Blindingly good value.
Date tasted: November 2007