Monday, January 20, 2014

2008 Oyster Bay merlot (New Zealand)

It's very good -- bright clear garnet in color, a slightly smoky aroma, smooth, elegant fruit, mouthwatering acids. You should read the technical specifications -- 3 day prefermentation maceration, French oak barriques, tailored rackings, malolactic fermentation, 6 months in more French oak. I quote this not in a spirit of pop-eyed mockery, but to marvel at the work, knowledge, and care that go toward making wines which remain still modest enough to retail for only about $12 or so.

With its light piquancy, nearly un-tasteable tannins and all-around easy gulping, it reminded me for all the world of the most recent Chianti I enjoyed, Banfi's 2008 Chianti superiore. Could it be that a New Zealand merlot and a new-on-the-market Chianti, both of the same year, each represent the phenomenon that Michael Broadbent calls "the global red"? The publicity materials and label art seem to say yes. They seem to say, Don't be are some beautiful women.

Image from Olga's Gallery

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