A practice has developed in Coonawarra where it seems the cabernet sauvignon merlot blend is a little cheaper than the “straight” cabernet sauvignon from the same producer. All things being equal, I rather enjoy blends, so this has always struck me as a little peculiar. Much like food in the hands of a good chef, a blended wine can become more than the sum of its parts. Yet in Coonawarra, my impression is more or less that the cab merlot is the pleasant intermediate wine that is always reliably “nice”, but not more, and certainly not in the league of its single variety cabernet sauvignon siblings. Perhaps it’s that merlot itself isn’t taken too seriously, a topic on which I have written on previously here, and the cabernet sauvignon is. After all this is Coonawarra. (For the record, I’ve had some very good merlots from Coonawarra, so it’s not impossible).
I haven’t reviewed a Hollick wine previously, but this release fits the Coonawarra pattern. Their 2012 “Tannery Block” cabernet merlot has ferrous aromatics and a balanced, earthy palate. Overall, a pleasant wine for drinking over the next few years. Acceptable to Good
Abv: 14.5%, Price: $25, Vendors and website: http://www.hollick.com, Tasted: 2015