Cafaro 2011 Merlot

Napa Valley, CA
89% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot; 14.5% ABV
Oak Barrels: 95% French and 5% American (50% New)
$17 or $18 at the Oakland, CA, store on 7 Nov. $30 on the winery web site.

Cafaro_2011_MerlotThis wine was pretty tasty not long after the first pour, but don’t let it fool you into thinking that’s all there is to it.  I thought it was at its best after about three hours in a decanter.  Then, it showed ripe, rich fruit of blackcurrant, dark cherry, blackberry, dark purple plum, rich dark earth, supporting vanilla / oak, with balancing acid of those fruits plus some cranberry / raspberry.  It has some of the “cooked rhubarb” flavor I dislike, and despite a tannic edge at the finish, most of the taste is more lush than structured.  So, although it’s not really my kind of wine, it is a delicious, complex, and substantial wine for the money that will likely age well for several years.

The next day, a saved single-glass screw-cap bottle was redder and blacker, less blue.  The tannic edge was more integrated into making a more delineated structure.  Overall, though, I preferred it on the first night, when it seemed more sweet and full.  Probably I’d like it even better after about 5 to 7 years of age.

Disclosure: this bottle was an unsolicited gift from Robaire.


One thought on “Cafaro 2011 Merlot

  1. philinoakland

    There’s a lot of this at the Oakland store right now (and they only made 275 cases apparently), just in time for the Holidays (and for a good Holiday gift). OK, it’s $18, but I’m guessing (as I sip on it right now in anticipation of grilled lamb chops with rosemary garlic butter) that it’s the best wine they have in the store right now and no, Robaire didn’t give me a freebie !!


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