13.5%, Screwcap, $25
The notes from Capital Wines mention that this was 'a crappy year on paper' but not necessarily a crappy year in the flesh. I'd tend to agree on that front, as it is certainly more variably than the 2009, but the spicier qualities of the vintage are certainly attractive too.
Rather light colour here, a rather cherry-red sort of beast without that Canberran ink. Herbal, twiggy and slightly meaty nose looks anything but super ripe too, though not underripe. Sits on the edge. Smoky, meaty and rather drying palate looks a bit drawn and herbal hardish in perspective though the sappy, red cherry fruit through the middle thrusts it forward.
More spice, less flesh with this Merlot but I sort of appreciate that too. It certainly has a place. Variety is the spice of life and all that jazz. 16.5/88