Ok as usual, I like to put my bias up front. For some bizarre reason when it comes to Merlot I like them varietal. And for me that means plum. So when I saw plum in the description in thought I would give them a try. To date my favourite Merlots are from California and Australia. I like them fruity and therefore generally younger. Aging just looses the fruit. Ok onto the wine. Inky dark in color with a mild nose of plum. Straight out of the bottle the mid pallet displays some plum along with a quick hit of firm tannins, peppery spicy notes typical of Aussie terroir and noticeable alcohol. After some breathing the tannins, spice and alcohol all die down and to allow you to more fully appreciate the lovely black fruits and plum of the mid pallet. This wine is either too young or you need to let it breath to properly appreciate it. I would give it an 88 or so. If you have some patience I bet a year will make a whole lot of difference on this wine.
Update: Well I came back to this bottle a couple days after I had opened it, and what a difference. It is a spot on varietal plum, fruit forward merlot. The edgyness on the finish had passed. This would support the fact it needs to age. After this I would bump the rating up to an 89-90. Much better.
From the lcbo web site:
WAKEFIELD MERLOT 2012 VINTAGES 683201 | 750 mL bottle Price $ 17.95
Made in: South Australia, Australia By: Wakefield Wines Pty Ltd.
Release Date: Jun 22, 2013
Style: Medium-bodied & Fruity 14.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content: 5 g/L Sweetness Descriptor: D – Dry
Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2012 Merlot offers a nose of crushed black plums, blackberries and mulberries with hints of mace, vanilla and violets. Medium-bodied, it gives a good amount of spicy black fruit flavors in the mouth with a light touch of oak, framed by a medium level of chewy tannins and medium to high acid, finishing with medium to long persistence. Drink it now through 2015+. Score – 88. (Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW, erobertparker.com, Dec. 2012)