40 dollars: Marble Hill "Renaissance" Adelaide Hills Merlot 2015
NEW ERA WINE SCORES GRAND TOTAL: 82.5 points. Pinstriped claret class. A wine that shows the Adelaide Hills’ position as a leading place to grow Merlot.
Price per bottle: $40
Region: Piccadilly Valley, Adelaide Hills.
Grape varieties: Merlot.
Closure: Screw cap.
Drinking window: Now to 2027.
1)Aromatic intensity, up to 5 points.
Biff! Strong presence. 4 points.
2) Aromatic complexity, up to 5 points.
4 points. Heaps going on.
3)Aromatic attractiveness, up to 20 points.
17 points. You want to dive into this!
4)Palate intensity, up to 5 points.
4 points. Solid chomp and chew.
5)"Mouthscape" or "palate complexity", i.e. how much of an interesting experience in the mouth a wine delivers, up to 5 points.
3 points. Charming.
6)Drinkability, i.e. how much the wine's total taste characteristics leave you thirsting for more, up to 20 points.
17 points. Deliciously classy.
7)The morning-after test, i.e. how this wine looks on the second day after opening and beyond, up to 5 points.
3.5 points. Provisional.
8)Cellarability, up to 10 points.
7.5 points. Should go ten years.
9)Individuality or how distinct the personality of a particular wine is, up to 10 points.
8 points. A very well defined individual, shy of eccentric.
10) Look, packaging, label, up to 5 points.
3 points. Smart, conservative.
11) Environmental credentials, story, philosophy, history, brand weight, up to 10 points.
From a prestigious part of the Adelaide Hills, made by people with deep historical roots there. Good commitment to the land but still a newcomer wine brand. Can only see these wines going from strength-to-strength. 7.5 points.
12) SUBTOTAL: Add together the individual scores from points 1 to 11, above. Subtotal is scored out of 100 possible points.
1 Value-for-money, take SUBTOTAL and divide by price to give X, then multiply X by 2. 2X is the value for money score.
2 The grand total NEWS value for a given wine is the product of SUBTOTAL + the value-for-money score.
Below 70: May have outstanding features but also some drawbacks and I couldn’t recommend it in confidence.
80-89 highly recommended
90+ points: Remarkable wine. Theoretically a score over 100 is possible once the value-for-money factor is taken into account. Something around 105 would be the upper limit of perfection.