This is an impressive release from Château Sociando-Mallet in the Haut-Médoc in Bordeaux. This estate is famously neither a cru classé nor a cru bourgeois, but stands on its own as a beacon of quality. The 2011 vintage is a blend of 55% cabernet sauvignon, 40% merlot and 5% cabernet franc. More generally, the 2011…Continue readingChâteau Sociando-Mallet 2011
I was fortunate to taste recently a bracket of 1994 cabs blind, with a representative from each of the Yarra Valley, Coonawarra, Margaret River and Pessac-Léognan in Bordeaux. The least expensive of this set in fact showed most impressively. Aged Coonawarra probably deserves more attention than it gets. Wantirna Estate Cabernet Merlot 1994Wantirna Estate was…Continue readingA bracket of 1994 cabernets
The 2012 is a sound wine from Château Puy-Blanquet in Saint Émilion. It’s a blend of 95% merlot and 5% cabernet franc, and has relatively simple aromatics of redcurrant and tobacco. The palate continues the theme and is a pleasant rather complex example of a merlot dominant Saint-Émilion. The 2010 (reviewed here) has greater…Continue readingChâteau Puy-Blanquet St Émilion Grand Cru 2012
You don’t see too many blends of merlot and cabernet franc in Australia. This one’s also from the new world, but from a place you might not have heard of – the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia in Canada. I expect it can’t be found in Australia, but since I am not actually selling anything…Continue readingBonamici Cellars Okanagan Valley Merlot Cabernet Franc 2012
It’s always a pleasure to taste rosé wines that have been made with attention to detail. This rosé from Domaine Serisier is made from 100% merlot and is such a wine. Suited to food, it has aromatics of earth, strawberries and nectarine skins. The palate is moreish with fresh acidity and terrific balance. I wrote…Continue readingDomaine Serisier Le Bout du Monde Bordeaux Rosé 2014
Bordeaux and Beyond continue to fish out excellent wines from the Bordeaux region. This is another. From the outstanding 2009 vintage, it’s a blend of 90% merlot and 10% cabernet franc from Chateau de la Dauphine. Specifically, the wine is from the red wine appellation of Fronsac to the west of Libourne. The vines have…Continue readingChateau de la Dauphine Fronsac 2009
Introduction Given the quality ambitions of many Australian producers, the relative underperformance of merlot in Australia has always struck me as something of an anomaly that is worthy of further thought and attention. So what is wrong then with Australian merlot? Like all good stories, we have an alleged culprit. Locally the finger generally…Continue readingMerlot in Australia: maligned or misunderstood? Or, Sir, can you spare a clone?