2009 Pellegrini “Cloverdale Ranch” Merlot

Alexander Valley, CA, 14.6% ABV
$8 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 6 Nov

2009_Pellegrini_CloverdaleR_MerlotAs regular readers know, I’m not fond of Merlot all that often.  But after a number of people recommended this wine to me, I had to try it.  I agree it’s pretty good.

The wine didn’t taste like all that much — pleasant enough medium red cherry fruit but not much else — until about 50 minutes of air in the bottle (with enough poured out that the wine was below the bottle shoulder, exposing the wine to more air).  Then it showed prominent darker flavors of blue fruit (blackcurrant, blueberry), dark cherry / kirsch, and black fruit / charred wood.  With a little more air, those flavors integrated nicely with the dominant red cherry to make a tasty and reasonably elegant and complex wine.  It has a little more charred character than I might personally prefer, but no more than the EOS 2009 Vintage Revenge Red that I also liked.  And, to me, it’s worth the dollar more (or 80¢ more during the sale) than the Vintage Revenge.


4 thoughts on “2009 Pellegrini “Cloverdale Ranch” Merlot

  1. poursomemore

    BargainWhine’s assessment of the 2009 Pellegrini “Cloverdale Ranch” Merlot is spot on. The wine does really well 90 minutes after opening. Just wondering why some of the bottle have screw caps (which I don’t mind) in current stock?

  2. GOWineLover

    The 2003 Sawkal Merlot out right now is stellar, blowing this example out of the water in every way. This is pretty good but the Sawkal dominates it for the same price, a real example of what one can get out of the grape. It’s deep and concentrated, complex and balanced for 14.5% with softness to round it out. I’ve got a case on hold.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi GOWL and thanks for the recommendation! I just got a bottle of the Sawkar Family Vineyards, Sonoma Mountain, 2003 Reserve Merlot, for $8 (pre-sale price) at the Oakland, CA, store.

    2. dluber

      Agree on the Sawkar. So far, it’s tied with the ’06 Michaud chard as the winner of the fall sale IMO. Opened one last night and it was kind of monolithic but still impressive. After a day with some air in the bottle, it’s opened up but is still remarkably fresh and primary for a ten-year-old wine, with loads of juicy fruit, ripe acidity, and tannic grip – I’m wondering if it’ll reward aging another decade. Anything but your “anything but” CA merlot.


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