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2008 Brokenwood Wines Cricket Pitch Red South Eastern Australia
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88(+?) Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - July/August 2010

($21; a blend of 60% cabernet, 25% shiraz, 8% merlot and 7% petit verdot) Ruby-red. Sexy, fragrant aromas of red and dark berries, allspice and black pepper. Deeply pitched dark fruit flavors are complicated by botanical herbs and licorice, with dusty tannins adding grip. Finishes solid, even ungiving, leaving behind a bitter cherry note. This could use some air, or a year of bottle age.

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Merlot enjoyed a surge in popularity in the 1990s as consumers suddenly discovered that they could enjoy aromas and flavors similar to those of Cabernet in a fleshier, softer wine with smoother tannins. A wave of Merlot plantings followed, frequently in soils and microclimates completely inappropriate for this variety, and the market was soon...
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