Montes Merlot 2005

I suppose I was tempting fate by opening a cheapy after all the super Kiwi wines I’ve been having of late. However, one (or at least I) can’t drink at the $50 price point every day, so cheapies I must. We’re lucky in Australia to have a large range of reasonably priced wines that are far superior to industrial swill, so it has been reasonable to expect in the last few years that $15 or so will yield a wine of character and interest. So what does that amount of money buy one from Chile?

On the basis of this wine, a whole lot of DMS and not much else. On the nose, rather characterless with that signature DMS note of ultra blackcurrant flip-flopping with tinned corn (thankfully no two day old raw mussels). The entry is slippery and introduces a palate with more blackcurrant juice in the context of a mouthfeel that is all about smoothness. But it’s not tannin or acid smoothless, it’s actually a lack of these things that creates an almost watery effect. Certainly easy to drink, and for those challenged by a perceived “harshness” in most red wines might enjoy the ease of this wine. There are some sweet oak characters too, subtle and well judged in terms of what this wine is. Tannins start to creep in a little on the finish, but it’s nothing too harsh and doesn’t begin to challenge any other aspect of this wine.

So, what to think? Certainly, I found this wine boring to the extent of wondering what is its point. Reading the back label, the wine is described as an “elegant and refined wine with a marked fruitiness almost irresistible to Merlot lovers.” And yes, it has a “marked fruitiness” (if we accept the super blackcurrant juice flavour as fruit driven) that is inoffensive and very easy to drink. To be honest, though, there are a lot of local wines that are of considerably greater interest to this at a similar price point. 

Price: $A10
Closure: Cork
Date tasted: December 2007