2011 Wildhaven Merlot Columbia Valley $5.99

Vinted & Bottled by Wildhaven Winery, Walla Walla, WA
ABV 12.7%
Purchased: Salem, OR 11-5-2014

FullSizeRenderNormally, if I buy WA Merlot, I’m going to try to find some from Walla Walla. I like that AVA and was happy to see this one on the GO shelf, thought that it had potential. I didn’t even bother looking it up online.

This is very much a non-standard Merlot though; not just non-standard WA Merlot…I wouldn’t have identified it as Merlot in a taste test in any way, shape or form.

Now, does that make it a bad wine? Not necc. It just makes it an inadequate Merlot.

A review on this exact wine from WE gave it an 84 points and said it was more reminiscent of Syrah than Merlot; although I think if you like Syrah and were looking for a good one, you wouldn’t look here either, because it’s really not like Syrah in taste either.

Color: Vibrant, ruby-red
Nose: Raspberries (and more raspberries).
Taste: Black raspberry, strawberry, more alcohol heat than 12.7%.
Body: Medium-light…more Syrah-weight than Merlot in mouthfeel.

My advice, don’t buy this for any reason other than if you like the taste of a raspberry style wine. It doesn’t taste bad at all but it’s not multi-dimensional…no real additional flavors, no layers, no spices, I noticed no real tannins (contrary to the WE review) or Merlot-silkiness, but for a raspberry tasting wine, it’s not bad. I think that it’s probably, at $5.99, the price point it should be.

Update: Night 2…the tannins are much more noticeable and the fruit has receded a lot. Still no real layers/nuances/other flavors but I like it a lot better after air.


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