Time to check in on the new release of one of Australia’s few deadly serious renditions of Merlot.
This always tends to savouriness, and the 2011 vintage is no exception. On opening, firm aromas of char, black olive, charcuterie and bitumen. There’s a sappy freshness that underlines these robust notes, giving the aroma a sweet tension that bounces between hard and soft. I like the contrasts, and it’s so beautiful to smell an Australian Merlot that has been made with angularity and savouriness in mind. Keeping in mind this is a very young wine — not yet released in fact — it’s somewhat churlish to note the oak aromas are ever-so-slightly prominent right now, but nothing that suggests any fundamental imbalance.
The palate is as uncompromising as the nose suggests. Structurally abundant, this is a fairly firm experience right now, driven by fine tannins and a firm yet well-integrated acid line. Flavours hit the tongue with impact and clarity, and it’s here the wine’s red fruit is most in evidence, gliding through the mid-palate with a certain elegance. The after palate is quite high toned and edgy at the moment, attributes I suspect will become less apparent as the wine ages. A particularly fine finish closes the line on a positive note.
History with this label suggests some medium term cellaring will bring substantial benefits, and I’d be giving any bottles a rest before tucking in. Though young, it’s a wine that shows fundamental balance and satisfying savouriness.
Update: day two and the wine is opening up nicely. Its fruit has stepped forward and is showing a sweeter countenance, making the wine somewhat easier to approach.
Blue Poles Vineyard