Wine Code Breaker #347

2018 Coldstream Hills Merlot, Yarra Valley, Victoria

Miles is the somewhat hard to love character from Sideways, a movie that almost killed the sales of Merlot.  He had some self esteem issues; best summed up when he remarked, “half my life is over and I have nothing to show for it.  Nothing.  I’m a thumbprint on the window of a skyscraper.  I’m a smudge of excrement on a tissue surging out to sea with a million tons of raw sewage.”  Ironically, his favourite wine was not allowed to be used in the movie, a Chateau Petrus Pomerol.  A Merlot.  With International Merlot Day on November 7, it is worth reflecting how good this grape can be.

The 2018 Coldstream Hills Merlot is from the Yarra Valley in Victoria.  It is a dark red coloured wine with a bright, lively edge.  The nose is of tobacco and herbs; sage and bay leaves providing the frills to the red fruits.  The palate is a perfect match to the nose with some cool elegance and slightly sandy tannins.  Tightly structured around plums and briary fruits, with chocolate through the middle, gives it volume that finishes with cedar notes.  This is very youthful and needs time, providing you with more than a smudge of excitement in a glass.


Rating94 pts
DrinkNow; 10 yrs
TastedOctober 2020

2 thoughts on “Wine Code Breaker #347

  1. James
    The original clone/s we imported from the USA in the 60,s and 70’s were not vey good and that certainly gave Merlot a bad name initially. More recent clones are much better, with WA leading the charge. I remember purchasing a dozen bottles of 1976 Taltarni Merlot with the cellar staff assuring me it would soften with time…. well it never did and it was like chewing on a dry stick 20 years later! That sort blew it for me a Merlot, and I am still very wary. The best Merlot I have tasted was a 1980 Petrus, jus magic!
    Regards Geoff

    Liked by 1 person

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