Napa, California; 15% ABV
Purchased 4/10/2013 at the Pinole, CA store
Pours a clear blood-red with hints of orange at the edges. Pleasant nose of red currant, hints of strawberry and red cherry, notes of briar and leather. Not screaming classic Merlot at me, but still inviting. The sweet palate is mostly red currant fruit, kind of jammy but with a juicy acidity – missing that classic Merlot mocha dark cherry, but nice – a bit over-ripe and on the simple side. Very soft tannins, easy to drink but with a hot finish. With some air it picked up a little complexity but I got a medicinal note, and it seems even hotter now. This wine has some very nice qualities but ultimately disappoints given the appellation, vintage, and packaging. It won’t make you say “anything BUT Merlot” but neither will it convince you this grape has great potential in California. I’ll call it Drinkable, but YMMV.
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