As usual my biases up front. I think a Merlot ought to taste like a Merlot (according to my definition). I know this is narrow. But this is just part of the somewhat exact being that is me. I believe in varietal wines. Sometimes I can turn that off. But especially with Merlots I have trouble with that. And the real trouble is there really aren’t many Merlots out there that taste like I think a Merlot ought to. If I want a spicy peppery shiraz, I will choose one. If I want to suck on a piece of Oak I can do that for a whole lot less than 19.95.
So with that up front I tried this one. I was a little skeptical to start off. Upon opening I was greeted with all the varietal bouqets I expect from a Merlot. The plums. Yum. The colors are a lovely deep purple color. All is well. Onto the tasting. On first taste on the front of the pallet there is not a lot going on, then the mid pallet shows some varietal Merlot flavors. Then onto the finish and on comes the spicy pepperyness. The spiciness is a little overpowering. The finish is medium or so. This is not a bad Merlot but as pure in flavors as I hope for. The label does not show that any other grape was blended in, in which case it can only come from terroir of the Aussie soil. The oak is well under control, the alcohol is well balanced. I would give this an 88-89. Not a bad wine at all. If I were a smart man I would give up on Merlots. Alas, I am not that bright 🙂
From the LCBO web site
RICHARD HAMILTON LOT 148 MERLOT 2006 McLaren Vale South Australia TASTING NOTE: Aromatic berry and olive aromas and similar flavours on the long palate perfectly judged tannins. Drink [until] 2014. Score – 90. (James Halliday www.winecompanion.com.au Nov. 2007) 39461 $19.95 Featured 5/2/2009