Evans & Tate 'Smooth Operator' Cabernet Merlot 2012
The Evans & Tate 'Smooth Operator' Cabernet Merlot hails from the 2012 vintage, another highly successful vintage for the Margaret River region, on the back of 4 or 5 successful ones prior to that, one or two since.
Margaret River has become synonymous with the Bordeaux blend that is dominated by either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, and supplemented with Petit Verdot, Malbec, or Cabernet Franc, or a blend of these. This particular wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Shiraz.
This wine is new in the Evans & Tate portfolio, and is an early-drinking Bordeaux blend with a deep red-black and purple colour. Quite impenetrable in colour, but this is to be expected in the Bordeaux blend. On the nose it shows clear blackberry, some briar or undergrowth notes, and some clear, clean chocolate notes, most probably from the Merlot. Some mint or sweetness too. On the palate, it shows the same flavours, with a smooth medium body, round juicy tannins and a pleasingly lingering finish. There's a shot of oomph from the Shiraz in there for good measure.
It's got a potent, blackberry-filled palate. The merlot adds some enriching body to the wine, which I feel would be overtly rough if it the cabernet were left to its own devices. A good entry to Margaret River Bordeaux blends, but take a step up in class into the mid $20s for the more superior integration of the blend.
14.6% alcohol, screwcap and around $20 at your local bottleshop or wine merchant. Consumed with a lasagne, and seemed to work really well with that and a side of steamed vegetables.