Monday, May 28, 2012

2010 Tarrawarra K-Block Merlot (Yarra Valley)

From the wonderful 2010 vintage in the Yarra Valley, Clare Halloran has crafted a serious, savoury Australian Merlot. No mean feat. This wine vindicates the decision in 2006 to graft over an old, yet underperforming Pinot block with an Italian Merlot clone.

Put simply, this smells great and tastes even better. The balance of beautiful plummy fruit and a deep, smoky, savouriness keeps you coming back for more. A real spiciness contributes to the sense of texture, and notes of black olive and dried herbs add further interest. Underpinning these great flavours is structure. Fine tannins, nice acidity, and excellent length mark it out as a wine that has an eye to the future. Ultimately it is wonderfully moreish and over two nights was consumed with some gusto.

To my mind Merlot is one of those grapes that eludes cheap and cheerful expressions. You either have to be aiming high, or you may as well not try at all. Tarrawarra have chosen the former, and with the 2010 K-block have joined a very small, but select group of Australian winemakers making memorable Merlot. 4 Stars +

RRP: $35
ABV: 14.0%
Closure: Screwcap
Drink: 2012-2022

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