The 2012 FishEye Merlot is sourced from vineyards in South Eastern Australia. FishEye is one of The Wine Group’s (the 3rd largest wine producer in the world) family of labels, other brands include Franzia, Mogen David, Big House, Concannon, flipflop and Cupcake, along with several others. The FishEye winery is located in New South Wales, Australia and they sourced their grapes thru-out South Eastern Australia, which includes 18 grape growing districts. FishEye should sell for well under $10 and it is not one of those wines where they go out of their way to explain their winemaking process, but the back label says the wine is medium bodied, off-dry (in between sweet and dry) and has oak vanilla aromas on the nose, so the Merlot went thru some sort of oak conditioning. The 2012 vintage in Australia is the best in years, when buying Australian wine, when possible, grab a bottle of the 2012. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is a clear, see-thru, black cherry red. The nose is jammy red fruit, a touch of smoke off the grill, extracted blackberry and sandalwood. This Merlot is slightly sweet, but it is fruit nectar sweet, not sugar sweet and is smooth and fruit forward. It tastes of ripe plums, black cherry, a soft brush of oak spice and a hint of vanilla. It is mostly a what is up front is all that there is wine, but there a bit of blueberry on the mid-palate. The tannins and the acidity stay out-of-the-way and the finish starts out strong, then fades.
The 2012 FishEye Merlot is a very soft, smooth, approachable and easy drinking wine. It is a good pick for those who don’t like tannins or their wine too dry, but also, don’t like overly sweet wines either. The FishEye Merlot won’t “wow “ seasoned wine drinkers, but it will please those drinkers who are just starting their Red wine journey. Not a Merlot for everyone, but a very solid effort for its intended audience.