Tag Archives: Cabernet Sauvignon

Geoff Merrill Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

Geoff MerrillOn Thursday night eating at Kingsley’s Steakhouse in Canberra, our dinner group ordered a bottle of Geoff Merrill 2003 Reserve cabernet sauvignon from the McLaren Vale (although listed as Coonawarra in the wine menu!) region in South Australia.

The aged bottle was hitting all the right notes after being decanted (with a small degree of sediment) and let sit to breathe for about fifteen minutes.

The dinner party tasted the wine tentatively as we waited for our main meals.  Being a steakhouse, you can guess what most people had for dinner.

The cabernet was ever present (as you would expect from an aged bottle) easily overriding the merlot blend.

Quaffing the wine, most at the table were surprised at the variety of flavours in the aromatic bouquet and in the glass itself.

Various folks around the table detected hints of tobacco, mint, cinnamon, as well as a variety of berries and currants.  The body was medium to full and the finish was long and smooth with a slight crispness/chalkiness attributed to the sulphates.

Geoff Merrill Reserve  Decanting

All in all, a vert appealing cabernet sauvignon very much in the South Australian style.  Might be too heavy for Bordeaux drinkers, but perfect with a meat dish.  The main meals really brought out the flavour of the wine, when accompanied by red meat and trimmings.

Recommended drinking: now – 2018 


Majella “The Malleea” 2008

Majella Majella

In late May we opened a bottle from Coonawarra producer Majella.  The blend, known as “The Malleea” is a mixture of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon (for which the region is rightfully well renown for) and 45% Shiraz.

The wine had a fairly light bouquet a noticeable plum overtone, although to this there was some debate.  The body was quite full, the initial tastings revealed oak, spices (perhaps a hint of cloves) and that plum overtone (debated again as to whether it was a plum overtone!?).  In either case, it was a smooth drop, and not in the least bit tart or bland.

It was a very conservative wine, inoffensive and quite moderate in terms of balance and was well received by the Merlot drinkers in our regular social circle.

The Shiraz lovers were perhaps a little unimpressed at the lack of punch thrown by the 45% Shiraz, however given it’s relatively young age, it’s fair to say that this wine will easily develop into a more complex – and dare I say it? – bolder blend which we have come to know and respect from the Coonawarra region.

If you’re purchasing for a social event, or a group of mixed taste drinkers, this wine has the potential to please a wide range of palates, in particular the discerning and conservative.

RRP (AUD) $75/bottle