Galafrey ‘Dry Grown’ Merlot 2008 (Mt Barker, WA)
13.5%, Screwcap, $28
Great to see a Merlot that both tastes like Merlot and is not afraid to carry some tannins and stuffing. The only thing I’d stress is that it needs a spell in the decanter before serving – I tasted it over 24 hours and it looked a far better wine on day 2.
The fruit for this wine comes off 1977 plantings, from a vineyard that yields just two tonnes a hectare – that’s seriously small crops of tiny berries.
It’s a darkly coloured Merlot this one, a real deep blood red colour that fully supports the low yielding, dry grown fruit message. It smells serious too, with intense, slightly leafy red berry fruit, integrated background vanilla oak all topped off with a slightly wild, smoky edge that I think adds a bit of character.
The palate too is all Merlot goodness – it’s dry, structured and meaty with that same smoky, sausagey edge seen on the nose. The tannins are impressive things too, quite gritty and prominent but not obtrusive, rather just giving the wine a decent kicker to finish. I bumped the score up a little as it did look even more appealing on the second day. Good, hearty, real Merlot this. 17.4/91