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2006 Arboleda Merlot
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- Cellar 2 - 3 years (2011-2012)
- ABV 14.5%
- Closure: Cork
The 'Global Financial Crisis' has not stopped people from enjoying wine, but it has made many
people more price-sensitive. Reports from retailers, restauranteurs and industry analysts indicate
that consumers are buying as much wine as they did a year ago, though they're spending much less.
Naturally, the big beneficiaries are those that can offer outstanding wines at bargain prices. Chile
is one of these.
The last five or six vintages have been very good, with many believing that the 2007 vintage reds
will surpass the exceptional 2005 and 2003 vintages in quality. As challenging as this might make
things for Australian and New Zealand producers, it presents an opportunity for Chilean wines to move
up the scale in price and prestige and enter the middle segment of the market, at least so long as
Chile's winemakers can resist the temptation to return to the 'bargain basement'. With land and
labour costs still far below those of 'premier' regions like Bordeaux or the Barossa, Chilean
winemakers have known for some time that if they can focus on quality, they can over-deliver at
almost any price point.
The perception of Chile as a producer solely of inexpensive but pleasant, value for money wines has
been difficult to shrug off. It was abruptly skewed with the release of Eduardo Chadwick's 'Sena' in
1995. Such truly great (and expensive AU$100+) offerings have now placed the country firmly in the
company of the best wines in the world, despite having little track record in comparison to Europe's
greatest estates. Now the vast gap between inexpensive 'quaffers' and 'icon' wines is gradually being
filled, with the emergence of unique, engaging, mid-priced wines from Chile. While these wines may
not be prestigious enough to woo collectors and high rollers, they will certainly appeal to
bargain-hunters. Quite simply, for those desiring wines with more interest and complexity than the
'cheap and cheerfuls', you can now look to Chile for $20 wines that taste like $40.
Tasting Notes: Examples of full flavoured Merlot seem increasingly difficult to find. Arboleda
breaks the drought. Low yields, restrictive water management and the delaying of harvest for 10–14
days has allowed the grapes to obtain ripe phenolics, rich flavours, sweet tannins, and excellent
Deep crimson colour with crimson hue. Medium body. Top note of spice followed by violet and mulberry.
The palate delivers flavours of mulberry, plum, cherry and cedar supported by fine grained tannins.
Excellent balance. Very long aftertaste of mulberry cedar and spice.
Cellar 2-3 years (2011-2012)
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