2016 Irvine The Estate Merlot Cabernet Franc

A Merlot based red blend?  Not something that springs to mind if someone asked me for an Aussie red blend recommendation.  Even the people at Irvine Wines would not be at all surprised at this outcome.  For this reason, I applaud them.  They have taken the plunge into the vast sea of blended reds and come to the surface with this Merlot Cabernet Franc in a life jacket.  The wine has been made so well, it was always destined to survive.

It definitely looks like a young buck in the glass thanks to the purple tinge at the edges but it is quite deep in colour.

On the nose it is not dark fruits but it’s not red fruits either.  From what I have read about mulberries (I’ve only ever tasted two), it seems as though that, and dark cherries, are what you’ll get here.

Now, here’s a thing.  Tasting this wine gives some pretty cool, very delicious and moreish characters.  As much as Merlot is 66 parts per hundred of the blend, the expected plum characteristics are but a bit player.  The Merlot must be a damn fine clone because it provides darker fruits than would normally be expected of the variety.  The Cab Franc adds some weight, width and length so well, you’d be mistaken for thinking it added more to the make-up than 34%.

This wine is all about the fruit.  French oak has been used but seems happy to carry the abundant fruit while the tannins support the Cab Franc at the finish.  It gives the punter plenty without a huge investment at the bottleshop.  Very nice work indeed.


Region: Eden Valley, South Australia     Price: $30     Source: Swap


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