Wednesday, July 2, 2014

2006 Alluviale Merlot Cabernet Franc (Hawkes Bay, NZ)

One of my gradual learnings over the years is that most premium, age worthy wine doesn't actually get discernibly better with age. Sure, a wine may age in the sense that it drinks well at 10 years of age, but a wine that actually builds additional complexity and enjoyment when compared to its youth is indeed rare. Instead, for most aged wines edges have softened, flavours have become more savoury, and a glide path of gradual decay has begun. There’s plenty of enjoyment to be had in following a wine on such a path, it’s just not the epiphany that is often hoped for when initially laying a bottle down in the cellar.

The 2006 Alluviale Merlot Cab Franc fits this mould. Nothing startling has happened with a further 5 years under its belt since I first tried it, but is nevertheless represents very enjoyable cellared wine drinking.  Medium bodied and food friendly, the tannin and acidity remain present but have now fully integrated into the wine. It still has plenty of nice plummy fruit along with chocolate notes. Grassiness, tobacco, and some earthiness all combine to provide a savoury finish. A lovely wine.

Rated: 4 Stars
ABV: 13.9%
Closure: Screwcap
Drink: 2014-2017

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