Garnier Vineyards, Hood River, OR (SRP $22)
Purchased: Salem, OR 11-5-2014
I think I can see what they were trying to do with this wine (it feels like they were trying to go with a more old world style), but I’m not sure they succeeded. It’s 60% Merlot, 40% Syrah.
While it is a smooth, somewhat black-peppery blend, it isn’t cohesive to me. In the mouth it feels like a Merlot that didn’t quite end up a Merlot or a Syrah that has the wrong body/mouthfeel. No unified expression.
Nose: lovely nose…spicy, black fruit…draws you in
Body: a little too light for my personal preferences, especially with a predominantly Merlot wine. I expect a certain weight with the smell and taste of Merlot and am not finding satisfaction here.
Taste: lower acidity, moderately dry (almost flat tasting), smooth but not silky, black pepper, black fruit, cherry & slight alcohol heat. (edit: I forgot to mention…a slight bit of aspirin aftertaste.) Not much in the way of dimensionality. I suspect it was $9.99 because it’s a local vineyard wine but normally I’d put this style in the $4.99 GO range.
It’s not bad. It would pair fine with food but it’s not something I would buy again. While I found the 2009 Mayerdale Pinot Noir interestingly nuanced, this one has nothing to draw me back.