Clarendon Hills Brookman Merlot 1998
from McLaren Vale, Australia
The color is medium dark red with the hue extending all the way to the rim, indicative of its youth.
Merlot is a very pretty wine. The fruit flavors of a typical example of this variety could be described as cherries and plums combined with the lifted fragrance of rose petals. These are the exact characters present in this wine. Add to this mixture plenty of toast and vanilla from new oak and you have a complex mixture of flavors, both delicate and powerful.
Whilst there is no lack of concentration this is not a heavy wine. The flavors fill the palate, but do not swamp it. The plum fruit character tends to be the most obvious, although there is a hint of secondary flavors such as chocolate and earthiness, which elevates the wine beyond mere fruity status.
Structurally the wine has plenty to offer with both chalky tannins and tingling acidity. This gives the wine definition to the finish at the present time, and will also assist the aging capacity in the future. It could comfortably age for 4-6 years. The choice is yours as to when you prefer to drink Merlot.
To re-enforce the plum fruit character match it with Peking style duck and plum sauce. The richness of the duck flesh is counterbalanced by the acidity in the wine. The plum flavor is obviously in both the wine and the dish.
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