Whenever I think of Pirramimma I think of their Petit Verdot. It was probably the first varietal Petit Verdot wine that I tried. A really big bold rich wine. But I did not try any of their other wines till I received this bottle of Pirramimma Pirra Cabernet Merlot 2016 (BC $17.99 on sale. Regular $19.99). I must say that the information on the back label, my initial tasting upon first opening the bottle, and my subsequent tasting 24 hours later were quite remarkably different. It was like trying 3 different wines.
When a winery makes it’s back label notes it can be from a barrel sample of the wine, rather than the filtered and bottled version that we get when we purchase the wine from our local bottle shop. The Pirramimma back label for the Cabernet Merlot 2016 describes the wine as “…displays aromas of musk, blackberry, stewed rhubarb, enhanced by hints of spice and mint. With the palate delivering ripe blackcurrant, red capsicum, spicy plum and glazed cherry, with traces of black olive and subtle cedar oak….” It then mentioned that the wine is approachable now with breathing or will develop with correct cellaring. Breathing/decanting indeed makes a big difference as my review will show.
My Review of Pirra Cabernet Merlot 2016 (Australia)
Tasting Notes from directly opening the bottle
The wine has a very deep almost opaque black-garnet colour. It has an above-average intensity nose showing blackberries, tarriness, ripe black fruit with some brighter black fruit tones and light touches of oak and vanilla.
The wine is slightly off-dry, with a medium body and medium flavour intensity. You get flavours of ripe cassis, blackberries, black fruit, plums and tarriness. I also picked up some salty minerality as well as vanilla and oak that start on the mid-palate. With air, you also get red fruit flavours and a touch of floral.
The wine has very soft tannins. You get acidity providing structure to this wine. The wine has a medium-plus length finishing slightly off-dry with pepperiness, tart black fruit as well as oak flavours. There are very light tannins on the finish. The wine has a lighter mouthfeel, round but not plush, water-like.
Overall this is a ripe, dark-fruited wine that has a light mouthfeel, being led with acidic structure and light tannins. You get tart black fruit oak and pepperiness on the finish. –
Tasting Notes after 24 hrs decanting in my temperature-controlled wine cabinet
The wine has a very deep almost opaque black-garnet colour. It has an above-average intensity nose showing ripe cassis, blackberries, ripe black fruit, cedar, oak and vanilla. No tarriness.
The wine is slightly off-dry, with a medium body and medium flavour intensity. You get lots of ripe, juicy black fruits, cassis and plums, along with cedar, black cherries and hints of floral and nutmeg. The minerality is not as strong as when the wine was first opened.
The tannins in the wine are much stronger and the acidity more subdued. The wine’s mouthfeel is now much bigger, feeling thick and plush. The wine finishes with riper black fruit flavours and the pepperiness is reduced. The tannins finish stronger on the finish. I enjoyed the decanted version of this wine much more.
In neither of my two tastings did I taste capsicum or detect an aroma of stewed rhubarb. So it shows how much wine can change in the bottle, even with a screw cap cover. A really interesting tasting. Give this wine a try, but make sure to decant it for a few hours. Enjoy.
Where Can I Buy This Wine?
BC Liquor Stores carry this wine. It is currently on sale for $17.99 till Oct 26, 2019. It may also be in private wine shops.