Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Cape Mentelle Cabernet Merlot Trinders 2012

The Cabernet Merlot blend takes inspiration from the classic red wines of Bordeaux. Cape Mentelle has developed an international reputation for outstanding Bordeaux varietal and blended wines which are perfectly suited to the climate and soils of Margaret River. This blend seeks to capture the depth and structure of cabernet with the dark fruit and plush flavours of merlot, which when blended create a well- rounded, full and rich style.

Bright crimson with purple hues.
Fresh blackcurrant, plum skin, violets, couverture, wild thyme and rolled tobacco.
Medium to full bodied with sweet ripe fruits of currants and plums with wild herbs and violets. The structure is firm yet velvety providing great length and intensity of flavour.
- See more at: http://www.capementelle.com.au/product/Cabernet-Merlot-Trinders-2012#sthash.JkV821RX.dpuf

Monday, 16 December 2013

Brown Hill Estate 2012 Trafalgar Cabernet Merlot

Brown Hill Estate 2012 Trafalgar Cabernet Merlot

The Merlot was picked on the 25th March. The Cabernet was picked at a variety of ripeness levels over 12 days. The fruit was separately destemmed, crushed and then transferred to tanks. Yeast was added to initiate fermentation which took approximately 10 days at 25 degrees. After the completion of the primary fermentation the wine was allowed to undergo extended maceration for an additional 14 days before the skins were pressed. This allowed the tannins to soften. After pressing the wine was transferred to both tanks and barrels to undergo malolactic fermentation. Once completed the wine was racked off lees and blended then transferred to barrels, of which 25% were new, for 15 months.

The barrels were kept at 16 degrees and were rack and returned using compressed nitrogen, every 3 months. Filtered in late May, the wine was bottled in June 2013

2012 was a text book vintage with minimal summer rain. Although warm, the maximum temperature was not excessive which ensured the grapes ripened slowly and steadily. Picking dates were 5 days earlier than usual.

Region:  Margaret River

Sunday, 15 December 2013


The Barwick estate's  Black Label features premium Margaret River fruit, crafted into this region specific wine range. The Black Label range focuses on specific varietals utilising French and American oak barrels to create sophisticated and complex wines.
Cabernet Merlot
Margaret River
St Johns Brook Vineyard
The classic aromas of black fruits, cassis and green capsicum and integrated French oak. The palate is full bodied with robust fine grain tannins.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Ashbrook Estate Cabernet Merlot

Ashbrook Estate Cabernet Merlot

Margaret River is regarded as the premier region in Australia for Bordeaux blends as typified by Ashbrook’s blend of approximately 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.  Two years in French Oak and two years’ bottle maturation produce classical wines of elegance, intensity and opulence.

Some highlights include:
• 93 points James Halliday (2003)
• 94 points James Halliday (2004, 2008)
• 8th of 135 wines Royal Melbourne Wine Show 2008 (2004)
• 95 points James Halliday (2005) 
• James Halliday's Weekend Australian Top 100 Wines 2010 (2005)

Friday, 13 December 2013

Evans and Tate Margaret River Merlot

Absotely a WONDEFUL drop if you can get it... so popular most stockists have sold out.

The Margaret River range by Evans & Tate showcases the celebrated wine styles of the region and the unique regional character of Margaret River.

Carefully crafted using premium parcels of fruit from selected vineyards, the wines showcase vibrant fruit flavours and a refined elegant style.

Aged in new French oak, bright berry and plum fruit flavours dominate with the rewarding finish exhibiting subtle cedar and spice notes with fine soft tannins of impressive length.

Region:  Margaret River

Price: Up to $25 a bottle...

Saturday, 7 December 2013


 Arlewood 2011 CABERNET MERLOT


This wine is the little brother of the Arlewood Cabernet Sauvignon.

It is made in pretty much the same style, with a touch more juicy fruit and supple tannin to entice you to drink it more frequently. Violets on the nose and blackcurrant on the palate.
Varieties: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot
Fruit Source: Arlewood Estate Forest Grove Vineyard, Margaret River Appellation
Maturation: 25% new, 75% 2 to 3 year old French oak barriques
Bottled: February 2013
Production: 700 cases
Alcohol: 14.2% vol
pH: 3.10
Titratable Acid: 7.15g/L

Cellaring: Delicious now; cellar to 8 years
Winemaker: Bill Crappsley

Region: Margaret River

Friday, 6 December 2013

Aravina Estate Cabernet Merlot 2011

2011 Aravina Estate Cabernet Merlot
Aravina Estate Cabernet Merlot Wines - 2011 Aravina Estate Cabernet Merlot

A thoroughly delightful medium bodied cabernet blend that captures this style beautifully. Minty black currant and cedar on the nose with a little violet perfume. The palate is seamless with fine tannin and subtle use of oak perfectly harnessing the fruit....

Wine Reviewer: Ray Jordan

Wine Region:Margaret River

Wine Rating:90 points

Winery:Aravina Estate

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Amberley Secret Lane Cabernet Merlot 2012

Secret Lane Cabernet Merlot 2012
Secret Lane Cabernet Merlot 2012

Located towards the northern reaches of Margaret River, where the invigorating ocean breezes form a unique microclime, Amberley produces wines with elegant flavours, solid structure and fine balance. Secret Lane keeps its promise to deliver smooth, early drinking Cabernet Merlot in fully approachable, contemporary styling. Pleasantly fragrant, with attractive blue and black berry characters, the gentlest tannins and decorous, supportive oak. 

Throughout the ripening period and harvest, vines are closely managed to yield grapes exhibiting a concentration of flavours, good colour and lovely ripe tannins. Fruit is sourced from vines up to twenty five years of age and de-stemmed into open fermenters. Parcels are inoculated and vinified at temperatures between 26?C and 30?C, treated to a careful plunging for the gentlest extraction of colour, flavour and tannins. Pressed and fermented to dryness before transfer to barrel for malolactic.
Components are matured in exclusively French oak barriques for over a year, before being racked, assembled, lightly fined and bottled.

Dark crimson red with scarlet hue. Aromas of blackcurrant and mulberry spice are complemented by hints of classic Margaret River bay leaf and dried herbs. A rich, supple red wine displaying flavours of cassis and mulberry fruit with an underlying sweet oak spice. The palate persists with its great length of fruit characters, generous and completely integrated, finishing beautifully rounded with fine, powdery tannins. Enjoy with lamb and kipflers.

Region:   Margaret River

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Vale: Lilac Hill Estate Swan Valley last taste Merlot 2008

Lilac Hill 2008 Merlot
I grabbed 2 cases of 2008 Merlot this week from my FAVOURITE Swan Valley haunt - Lilac Hill

And  Stephen the owner said... we close shop for good on December 31st, 2013..

He says that Sunday trading has killed off the Sunday tourist trade in the Valley and it was time to move on...


From the www.visitvineyards.com website:

Lilac Hill Estate Wines is a family business owned and managed by Stephen and Amaya Murfit, and located in Caversham in the Swan Valley wine region of Western Australia's Greater Perth area. 

In 1998, the Winery was transformed from yesterdays conventional winery to the custom built, state-of-the-art winery it is today. This allows them to produce wines to the highest standard, generous fresh fruit driven styles that are perfect to drink with or without food. 

The Murfit family have built a strong and reputable following, accordingly Lilac Hill Estate has now become successful in its own right. Winemaker, Stephen's philosophies is to continue the skill of producing high quality fortifieds. Hence we have been setting aside parcels of liqueurs, since he first started making wine, wih their undisclosed methods, these fortifieds are not only enjoyable but also affordable.

James Halliday wrote on his website:
Lilac Hill Estate is part of the renaissance that is sweeping the Swan Valley. Just when it seemed it would die a lingering death, supported only by Houghton, Sandalford and the remnants of the once Yugoslav-dominated cellar door trade, wine tourism has changed the entire scene. Lilac Hill Estate, drawing in part upon 4ha of estate vineyards, has built a substantial business; considerable contract winemaking fleshes out the business even further.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Australia's wine regions - Western Australia

Western Australian Wine Regions
Australia's wine regions have not only gained well-deserved reputations for their wines but also for producing top-quality foods. Margaret River, for example, is known for its dairy products, Mudgee for honey and olives, Orange for meats and stone fruit, and Queensland’s Granite Belt for apples and pears. Cellar-door tastings and sales are usually available and at small family-owned wineries visitors will often find themselves being greeted by the winemaker.

1 Swan Valley, Western Australia

Historic wineries, family-owned vineyards and international producers alike occupy picturesque riverside locations only a short trip from Perth. Many cellar doors can be visited on river-borne wine tours and host musical events, dinners and picnic concerts. The region is best known for its whites (verdelho, chardonnay and chenin blanc), but good reds are made here, as well as fortified wines.

2 Geographe, Western Australia

This region enjoys the moderating maritime influences of Geographe Bay, which in turn encourages the production of full-bodied reds and full-flavoured whites. Italian families originally planted vineyards around Harvey in the north; today’s vineyards are found around Busselton in the south, Bunbury in the centre, and inland to the south and east along the Ferguson Valley and the Darling Range around Collie and Donnybrook.

3 Margaret River, Western Australia

Internationally renowned cabernet sauvignons and chardonnays are produced here at more than 100 wineries. Visitors are made welcome at the sometimes rustic, sometimes elaborate cellar doors, many of which have top-notch restaurants. Diverse micro climates play a part in the success of the Margaret River, which has an enviable reputation for its production of top-quality wines.

4 Great Southern, Western Australia

Sandy loam soils and a Mediterranean climate produce fine shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir and riesling in this sprawling coastal region centred on the towns of Mount Barker, Denmark, Porongorup, Albany and Frankland. Food and wine events take place throughout the year; the Great Southern Wine Festival is held every October in several locations. The surrounding agricultural districts also graze sheep and cattle and grow wild flowers.