Balnarring, Mornington Peninsula, cork seal
I'm back in Australia and dug this out of the cellar. I've no idea how I acquired it, though I do remember visiting the winery years ago. Known for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and expensive sea views, the Mornington Peninsula isn't regularly recognised for its Merlot and Marinda Park is one of the few who produce it as a single varietal. Sorry about the photo; it's totally distorted by my mum's bright green kitchen; the same kitchen that has been warping my mind for nearly thirty-five years.
Showing a touch of bottle age it is a beautiful crimson red colour. It smells delicate, floral and feminine (another way of saying subtle?); and has lovely spicy notes - think star anise, cinnamon and a lick of sweet fruit. It's soft, spicy and tastes of red fruits and spice, or to be more precise plums and fruit cake. Medium bodied; it's balanced and still maintaining a touch of freshness. Beautifully integrated and drinking well, Marinda Park Merlot 2001 doesn't smash you over the head; initially I thought it was a touch uninspiring, but in the end was one over by its stylish drinkability and lovely softness.
Visit winery website.