Wine Tasting Video: Cabernet & Merlot from Australia, Italy and California

Some wines I filmed before Christmas when I’d been banished to one of the darker rooms in the house…

Wakefield Estate Merlot 2009, Clare Valley, Australia (£9.99-£10.99 Cheers, Constantine Stores, Majestic, Nidderdale Fine Wines, Oliver’s Beer and Wine, Saxty’s, Sommelier Wine Co)
Reasonable ruddy berry and plum fruit with a smoky vanilla oak sheen, friendly but a touch overripe, and slightly too simple. B-

Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia Bolgheri 2009, Tuscany, Italy (£39.95 Roberson, Armit)
Hmm… There are some classy elements here, such as a confident gravely/mineral edge and a Bordeaux-like pencil shaving nuance, but the slightly hard/dry tannins and fleshy dark fruit on the finish speak of over-extraction of slightly overripe grapes. Gave it time to display some greatness, but it never quite got there. S(-)

Panamera Cuvée Napa 2009, Napa Valley, California (N/A in the UK)
It’s the brambly richness of Zinfandel that speaks loudest in this blend, but there’s also a slightly cloying boiled sweet note, and overenthusiastic use of oak comes through in the slightly rubbery aromas and dusty vanilla edge. C(+)

Wakefield Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Clare Valley, Australia (£10.99 Majestic, Cellar 28, Cheers, Denby Dale Wines, Eagles Wine,  Victor Hugo Wines, Nidderdale Fine Wines, Penistone Court Cellars, Terry Platt, Sandham Wine Merchants, The Shenfield Wine Co,  Sommelier Wine Co,  Taste Fine WinesWine Connect, The Wright Wine Company, Slurp)
An honest, juicy, hearty glug with bold dark fruit flavours tinged with mint, oak in balance and some chewy tannins on the finish. Fleshy but still retains freshness. S-

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Margaret River (£34-£38 Domaine Direct, L’Assemblage, Beaconsfield Wine Cellars, Fortnum & Mason, Four Walls, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, House of Menzies, Selfridges, Sommelier Wine Company, Uncorked)
Intense, fresh style with (as wit the Serre Nuove above) a decent grainy texture infused with a touch of gravel, but the cool vintage shows through, with just too much of a green, even celery-like edge to the generous blackcurrant flavours. S-

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