I understand 2009 was a difficult vintage in some parts of the McLaren Vale. Certainly, compared to the 2008 Merlot, this wine shows less freshness of fruit character. It retains, however, the same sense of drinkability and charm, and for that I like it a great deal.
The nose shows plums, some spice and what smells like scorched foliage (the power of suggestion, perhaps?). There’s a prickliness to the aroma profile that may be partly due to the youth of this wine; whatever its origin, it is quite edgy, yet at the same time connects well with subtle, nougat-like oak notes. Overall, generously expressive, if a bit lumpy.
Entry is bright and fresh, with well-judged acidity carrying light plum fruit flavours through to the middle palate. Weight is light to medium bodied, intensity in a similar range, yet the components seem balanced overall. There’s an attractive icing-sugar sweetness to the middle palate, adding some nuance to the fruit flavours and contributing a welcome sense of plushness. The after palate begins to show some dried fruit notes that aren’t altogether welcome, which reside under a twig-like note and gentle oak flavours.
A product of its vintage, no doubt, but eminently drinkable nonetheless. I like the acidity in particular.