Monday, October 4, 2010

Blue Poles Margaret River Reserve Merlot 2008

A few years ago, wine types around the world were getting themselves all in a lather over the Hollywood movie ‘Sideways’. With its release, many people were banking on the film giving the Californian wine industry a boost, which it did. But what it also did was give Merlot a bad name; remember this –

Jack – if they want to drink Merlot, we’re drinking Merlot.
Miles - No, if anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving. I am NOT drinking any fucking Merlot!

Was it funny, well sort of. Did it do anything for Merlot sales? Yes, it fucked ‘em. Ever since Merlot has been doing the hard yards to be once again taken seriously. Add certain so called experts in wine having preconceived ideas about the wine, the movie screwed quite literally Merlot sales not only in the US but also here.

Now Merlot is a grape that needs the right growing conditions, and with this, Margaret River offers the best conditions here in Australia, and for me has the most similar conditions to where Merlot is King – the right bank in Bordeaux.

And this brings me to the wine. The Blue Poles Margaret River Reserve Merlot 2008. Now these guys do not make Merlot every year, hence the Reserve moniker. Only in the best growing years will Mark Gifford make this 100% version. After about 1 hour in the decanter we were ready to go. One of the darkest colours I have ever seen in a glass of red wine, ever! The nose has a profound blueberry whack to it, with a touch of mocha also thrown in. The palate also had very primary blueberry, with wonderfully checked tannin and acid working beautifully. In the end, just a fabulous wine.

Do yourself a favour and lose your preconceived ideas that are from people who have selfish and narrow-minded agendas. That should do it I reckon.

Drink with roasted lamb shoulder
Drink till 2029
Screwcap 14%v/v first had at Grossi Florentino’s The Restaurant and also available at Bottega Tasca and Carlton Cellars


  1. Thank you Tim. This sounds a great wine, and complimented with lamb it is sure to be a winner. I love the softness of the merlot and I think this goes very well with the meat (and dare I say it the fat) of the lamb. One clip in the film sideways that did inspire me to want to learn more about wine was when Miles was on the back verandah with his lady friend discussing why they loved wine. Now this was good for wine in my opinion.
    No matter. A trip to Margaret River will no doubt tantalise everyone’s taste buds and you can also be sure of some quality Margaret River accommodation.

  2. It was a stupid movie anyway!