I need to declare my bias upfront so that we all know I work for De Bortoli, but being a lover of Burgundy, I cannot help but gush about this wine because it goes the right way in changing the perception that in Australia, we only make "big, blended and over the top reds".
It is interesting to compare this wine with The Merricks Vineyard because both wines are made in an identical fashion - i.e % of whole bunch used, fermentation regime, oak maturation and even the grape clones ( MV6 ) so that what we see in the glass is simply an expression of "terroir" and not winemaking.
The Abbey Vineyard wine reflects beautifully the cool and north facing site in Tarrawarra, with a perfumed nose of red fruits and voilets. The palate is light to medium in intensity with nice savoury and sappy notes which given a few years, should integrate so that the palate plumps out a little and reflects the bouquet a little more.
The Merricks Vineyard is a more open and maritime influenced site with warmer days and hence, the wine is immediately more forward, obvious and inviting. The palate is fuller with bright plump fruit and ripe tannins -- there is no green or stalk character at all in this wine -- just delicious now!
They are difficult to find ( tiny quantities made ) but are worth the hunt because at AU$40 per bottle, they are great value in comparison to Village and even some 1er Burgundy.