Although perhaps lacking the profile of regional neighbours Cullen, Moss Wood or Vasse Felix, Woodlands' complex, structured and distinctive Bordeaux style reds lose nothing by the way of comparison. Woodlands' Cabernet Merlot (which also includes a portion of malbec in 2008) provides a very affordable, high quality entry point into their range.
Densely coloured and inky, Woodlands' 2008 Cabernet Merlot opens to a leafy/herbal nose of dusted blackberries, olives and fragrant pencil shavings-like oak. Its medium-bodied palate reveals silky flavours of dark berries and sour plums with a salty, olive-like aspect, evolving with herbal undertones towards a rather intense finish defined by an emerging presence of side splitting acidity and coarse tannins, however, it does soften with extended aeration.
O Like Woodlands' similarly priced Cabernet Franc Merlot of the same year, this is quite an intense young red that just needs a bit more time to settle and find itself. Drink 2012-2015.