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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Yellow Tail The Reserve Merlot 2008

Merlot from Australia
  • WE87
14% ABV
  • WE88
All Vintages
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The rich fruity nose of the blackberry combines with dark chocolate aromas with underlying nuances of sweet oak. The palate boasts layers of black cherry, vanilla and mocha which come together to produce a soft, velvety mouth feel. This seamless and well structured wine has good texture and well balanced tannins finishing with length and a touch of spice.

An excellent wine to enjoy with your favorite pasta sauces or try with full flavored offerings such as lamb shanks, stroganoff and classic roast beef.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 87
Wine Enthusiast
Merlot isn't what Australia is known for, but this is a tasty, toothsome wine at a realistic price. Delicate notes of cinnamon, clove and cocoa accent black cherries and cassis in this soft, creamy-textured effort. Drink it over the next year.
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Yellow Tail

Yellow Tail

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Yellow Tail, Australia
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It all began way back in 1820s when the first Casellas began crafting wine in Italy. Over a century later, in 1951, Filippo Casella and his wife Maria decided to leave their homeland to pursue their hopes and dreams of a better life in Australia. Recognizing the potential of his new surroundings, Filippo purchased a farm in the small town of Yenda, New South Wales, and did what came naturally. He began selling grapes to local wineries, and by 1969 decided it was time to put his own winemaking skills to use and the Casella winery was born.

Filippo's son, John, entered the family business in 1994 and embarked on an ambitious expansion to build a new winery with a vision of blending old world heritage with new world technology. Today, Casella Wines, including Yellow Tail, is run by Filippo's three sons - John, Managing Director and Winemaker; Joe, Australian Sales Director; and Marcello, Director and Vineyard Manager. Filippo's grandchildren - Phillip and Rachelle - are the sixth generation to join the business.

Australia

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A large, climatically diverse country producing just about every wine style imaginable, Australia is not just a source of blockbuster Shiraz or inexpensive wine with cute labels, though both can certainly be found here. Australia has a grand winemaking history and some of the oldest vines on the planet, along with a huge range of landscapes and climates; it is impossible to make generalizations about Australian wine. Most regions are concentrated in the south of the country with those inland experiencing warm, dry weather, and those in more coastal areas receiving humid and tropical, or maritime weather patterns. Australia has for several decades been at the forefront of winemaking technology and has widely adopted the use of screwcaps, even for some premium and ultra-premium bottles.

Shiraz is indeed Australia’s most celebrated and widely planted variety, typically producing bold, supple reds with sweet, jammy fruit and performing best in the Barossa and Hunter Valleys. Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Shiraz, and also shines on its own particularly in Coonawarra and Margaret River. Grenache and Mourvèdre (often locally referred to as Mataro) are also popular, both on their own and alongside Shiraz in Rhône blends. Chardonnay is common throughout the country and made in a wide range of styles. Sauvignon Blanc has recently surged in popularity to compete with New Zealand’s distinctive version, and Semillon is often utilized as its blending partner, or in the Hunter Valley, on its own to make complex, age-worthy whites. Riesling thrives in the cool-climate Clare and Eden Valleys. Sticky-sweet fortified wine Rutherglen Muscat is a beloved regional specialty of Victoria. Thanks to the country’s relatively agreeable climate throughout and the openness of its people, experimentation is common and ongoing, and there are a vast array of intriguing varieties to be found.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. But the grape also has enough stuffing to make serious, world-renowned wines. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, in St. Emilion and Pomerol, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc. On the Left Bank in the Medoc, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot with Cabernet Franc.

SOU104004_2008 Item# 108565