Taylors Estate, Merlot 2010
Although Merlot is the most common variety of grape grown in France, it’s never really hit its straps as a single varietal in the Australian wine market. Perhaps that’s because Merlot grapes tend to ripen too quickly in warm climates, or because Aussies just prefer the softness that it brings when blended with Cabernet and Shiraz.
But with rich ripe styles like the Taylors Estate 2010 Merlot hitting the shelves, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes as popular here as it is in the South of France.
I suspect that the winemaker, Mitchell Taylor, has deliberately picked the fruit a touch later than normal for the 2010 release, as the nose is a perfume of spice and berry which becomes lush creamy stewed plums and strawberry on the palate. There’s a touch of gripiness in the middle, courtesy of a brief tannic interlude, before the fruit corralled by French and American oak, takes hold once more to linger through the finish (and an encore performance at that!)
I’m a little surprised that Taylors didn’t use this fruit from their Lodden and St Andrew’s blocks to craft one of their top end St Andrews releases as it’s much better than its $16-$20 price point would suggest.