This particular bottle had been with the Don Dunstan Foundation its whole life and we drank it in the nick of time.
David Pearson had not wanted to risk serving such an old wine to guests, but had no qualms using Steve and Nigel as guinea pigs!
2002 Paringa Merlot tasting notes
Firstly, this wine hearkened back to its River Murray origins and ponged like a stagnant offshoot of the Murray when first opened.
Within 30 minutes, the stench had lifted and the wine was approachable.
As expected, there was plenty of sediment across the bottom of the bottle and our glasses, just as you’d expect from a meandering part of the river.
On the palate, Steve noted there was no vibrant fruit zipping across the tongue like a speedboat. Instead, he said the experience was more like the lap, lap, lap of an oar dipping into the river as the wine kayaks across the palate
Nigel noted the soft tannins which Steve described as like the little reeds or river weeds that you glide over in your canoe and only hear the faintest stroking against your keel
The Merlot still had good legs with 14% alcohol and Steve noted that this would be the wine Steve would choose to drown in.
The 2002 Paringa Merlot is most likely no longer available anywhere but you can hear our live tasting about three minutes in. Find the episode below or search for The Adelaide Show 216 in iTunes or your favourite podcast app.