Evans & Tate 2007 Margaret River Merlot

Evans & Tate 2007 Margaret River Merlot
We wanted to try a merlot from Chile, and the local wine shop has a selection of imported wines in a nook at the back, including some from Chile. Unfortunately, when we went in and had a look, everything from Chile was either malbec or carménère. I didn’t remember anything about these varietals from my reading, so we asked the woman at the counter what they were like. I figured she’d have a good idea, but alas she had no experience with these wines and could only give us an, “I think they’re a bit like cab sav.”

I thought this was a bit disappointing for someone working in a specialty wine shop (as opposed to a more generic liquor shop, this place doesn’t sell beer or spirits, just wines). The upshot was we decided not to risk it this time and went for a merlot from Western Australia instead. There’s a lot of choice if you stick within Australia, so we semi-randomly grabbed this one, sitting in the middle of the price range.

Evans & Tate is a fairly big name brand in wines, and a gold medal – albeit as specialised as “best dry merlot” in the Royal Queensland Wine Show – promised it should be reasonable. We had it with a meal from a local Indian restaurant, with which it went reasonably well.

I have to say I’m finding it difficult to pull specific taste notes out of red wines in isolation – without contrasting styles of wine to compare against. I sniff, and then swill it around in my mouth, searching for a name to assign to the flavour, and I have trouble getting past “fruit” to anything more specific. I think this one had an aroma of cherries mixed in there, and honestly the only flavour note I got out of it apart from “fruity red wine” was a hint of liquorice at the end. It was pleasant, but nothing astounding.

More practice needed!


3 Responses to “Evans & Tate 2007 Margaret River Merlot”

  1. Román Gorojovsky Sánchez says:

    Hehe, I told you to ask if you were having south american wine. Malbec is a bad grape in France (Mal bec ~= bad mouth in french), but it flourished in Argentina and Chile and it’s the base of many of our great wines. And it’s nothing like Cabernet. I don’t think I can describe it, because I never understood the descriptors, and while I’d know how to describe in spanish, I’m not sure if I know how to translate that to english. Ussually malbecs are more dry than fruity and maybe a bit acid. It’s supposed to be a better merlot, but I haven’t tried good merlots, so I couldn’t tell.

    Anyway, I’m no expert in Chilean wines (for the same reason I’m no expert in any foreign wine: If you can get an equally great wine for a third of the price, why bother?), but if there’s a good malbec you should try it, it’s likely to be good.

  2. I probably will try it some time! They had quite a few Argentinian ones there as well. If you want to give me some names to look for, I can check and see if they have them.

  3. Román Gorojovsky Sánchez says:

    Hmmm I don’t know what they are exporting. Once I went to a winery (Baudron) which exported all of its production, so I had never heard of it, and it was really good. These are small and rather non-industrial winerys, so look for the word “artesanal” i.e. handmade. Besides that, Rutini is ussually a great label, Montchenot is another excellent one, Finca FLichman is good too.

    You can also look for wines from specific places. All wines from Tupungato are excellent, both red, white and rosé; San Juan has excellent syrahs and tannats eg. Callia Syrah+Tannat, not so expensive and really good, although I don’t know if it’s exported; Cafayate is known for the Torrontés, another “cheap” grape that flourished here.

    Does the winery where you buy have a page with any list?

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