The third of three recent Merlots and, to jump to the end, this wine elicits a big “wow” from me. If you like good Merlot, good red wine, or good things generally, put in your order.
We’re not about summary judgement here at Full Pour, though, so now comes the task of describing the wine, which is considerably more difficult than simply recommending it. The first thing to note is it’s very young but, unlike the 2007 Unison Merlot, is drinking very well right now. A bit tight on opening, the aroma has melted over the course of an hour to reveal gorgeous red and black berries, tobacco leaf, some classy cedar oak, and general savouriness, all expressed within a cleanly articulated structure that draws the elements together in one repeatedly sniffable package.
On the palate, the intensity of fruit becomes fully apparent, as does a structure of beautiful clarity. Medium bodied, this wine starts subtly on entry, with mostly savoury notes (some sulphur-derived influences perhaps?) leading into a gradual crescendo of red and black berry fruit. There is a range of other elements that participate in the flavour profile, many of a richly leafy character, and subtly vanillan oak plays a part too. Although there are tannins aplenty, they don’t unduly block the wine’s expression, even at this early stage in its life. On the after palate, the fruit character morphs into a decadent liqueur-like expression. Very impressive finish.
One often reads descriptions of Merlot in terms of rich, soft fruitiness and a slight absence of structure. Flip this on its head and you have something akin to this wine, which is all about precise fruit, firm structure and a sense of sophistication that transcends my poor attempt to transcribe the experience of drinking it.
Blue Poles Vineyard