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