Perhaps, the quirkiest cellar door we visit on our tours is that of Relbia Estate located at Penny Royal Wine Bar and Restaurant in Launceston.
Set in a quarry that was hacked from Cataract Gorge’s dolerite cliffs more than a century ago, Penny Royal’s fortress of stone buildingsis like a pirate's cove, replete with tall ship, canons and a cascading waterfall. However, rather than the clash of cutlasses, you will hear cries of adrenaline spent from climbers on the rock wall or the brave leaping from the cliff jump.
Penny Royal Wine Bar and Restaurant is set amid this rabble of rollicking good fun with a class and sophistication that will please even the fussiest of connoisseurs.
The 2015 Cabernet Merlot from Relbia Estate is exclusive to the Penny Royal Wine Bar and Cellar Door. Like Penny Royal, it sets itself apart from the obvious and expected because it is a variety more suited to warmer climates and not traditionally produced in the north of the State.
It is Relbia Estate’s first vintage of Cabernet Merlot and, as Christy Sutherland Manager of the Penny Royal Wine Bar and Restaurant noted, they very proud of it. “It has a gorgeous colour and a great flavour,” she said.
The wine has a vibrant red-purple colour, with lifted aromas of raspberry, spices and hints of vanilla bean.
The palate is lively and fresh with complex flavours of bright sour cherries, ribena and hints of toasty oak on the finish. The tannins are fine and smooth. The Cabernet flavours dominate in this wine but the softness of the Merlot rounds off the palate creating a well-balanced wine.
It matches beautifully with lamb or beef, with the subtle oak particularly picking up on the flavours of beef. It goes particularly well with the crusted rack of lamb served at the restaurant as the hint of spices picks up on the garlic and pepper crust.
The Relbia Estate Cabernet Merlot 2015 is good to drink now or can be cellared.