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2017 Expressions Smooth Operator Cabernet Merlot

Evans & Tate Expressions Smooth Operator Cabernet Merlot

2017 expressions smooth operator cabernet merlot

90 Points 90




Vibrant, deep purple-red with an inky black heart. 


Unmistakably Cabernet Merlot from Margaret River, with lovely purity and intensely varietal characters of blood plums, violets and bay leaf driving the nose.  


The palate is elegant with fine, smooth tannins and a richly flavoured core of sweet fruit. The finish is soft, long and effortless; typical of this esteemed blend from Margaret River.


Drinking beautifully now and over the next three to five years. 

Download Tasting Notes


A prolonged cool and wet growing season meant the vines were lush and healthy heading into ripening. Maturity and harvest dates were later than usual, due to cool and wet ripening months of January, February and March; conditions not experienced in Western Australia for more than 10 years with February and March providing the coolest and wettest conditions experienced in the Margaret River region for more than 15 years.

The month of April however, really saved the vintage. Although cool, it was extremently dry and allowed the red varieties to accumulate sufficient flavour and importantly, tannin ripeness. Merlot was the highlight of the reds with Cabernet Sauvignon, although not typical, showing intense colour and lovely aromatics.


The parcels of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot used are located in the central and northern parts of the region. These strategic locations were chosen on their ability to consistently produce a wine with intense colour, ripe fruit flavours and a fine, silken tannin profile with the ability to age. Some parcels of Merlot fruit were picked between midnight and early morning to ensure it reached the winery as cold as possible. The fruit was then gently destemmed and transferred to a fermenter where it was held cold for 3-4 days prior to fermentation.

The majority of Cabernet parcels were left on skins post-fermentation for 7-10 days. At completion of time on skins, each parcel was pressed separately to tank before being racked off yeast lees to barrel.  8% of the Cabernet was matured in new French oak hogsheads with the balance of the Cabernet and all of the Merlot being matured in 1 to 5 year old French oak hogsheads and barriques. Each parcel was matured in oak for between 10 and 16 months and were kept separate until the final blending stage to assess the development of each. Following trials, the wine was minimally handled by being blended in tank with no fining required before being filtered only once and matured in bottle prior to release.


Margaret River


Cabernet Sauvignon



  • Alc Vol: 14.5%
  • pH: 3.43
  • TA: 6.26 g/L

Barbequed meats, rissoles & gourmet sausages

james suckling,

biggest australian tasting ever, june 2019

Quite herbal on the nose, which features red peppers, paprika and blue fruit. Tangy and quite steely on the palate, the firm tannins paint a savory picture in the end.

90 Points 90