After suffering a severe man flu for most of the week, I figured I may as well drown my sorrows on this Friday evening. So I find myself with a glass of Mike Press’s most recent Merlot in front of me. It’s a bit tricky trying to balance tasting, coughing and blowing my nose, but the quality of this wine is proving motivational.
I enjoyed the 2005 of this wine but this seems to me a step up. For a start, the oak seems of a higher quality, and of a character better matched to the fruit’s range of flavours. This is all quite serious, actually. The nose is heady, with dark berries, rich autumn leaves, sap and cedar, with just a hint of the nougat oak that was much more prominent in the earlier vintage wine. There’s something quite sharp about the aroma profile, not altogether attractive in fact, that should calm with some time in bottle, or a good airing in the decanter.
The thing that strikes me most about the palate is its structure. This is quite heavily architected as a wine, with decent acidity but, more notably, a prominent tannin presence. Certainly not one for the “smooth, fruity” Merlot crowd. The effect is both raw and voluptuous, a textural mouthful of a wine with a dry bite through the finish. Fruit is dense and inky, tilting towards savouriness, with a black olive and leaf edge that signals both the variety and a seriousness of intent. I’m sure the oak is contributing to an overall sense of youth and rough vibrancy, all of which should come together with some more time.
This really is an excellent, though very young, wine. At this price, a complete no brainer.
Mike Press Wines