80% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot, 8% Malbec; 14.1% ABV
produced and bottled by Woodhouse Family Cellars, Woodinville, WA from vineyards in the Rattlesnake Hills AVA
$4 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 28 Jan
Regular readers know I usually don’t go for Merlots, but this one was older, in a nice label and bottle, had two of the more unusual Bordeaux varietals blended in significant quantities, and came from a designated American Viticultural Area. My hunch was correct; this wine is amazingly good for the price.
I first decanted the wine off a medium amount of sediment that had settled over a couple days. The sediment didn’t taste bad, really, but the wine probably tastes “cleaner” without it. At first pour, the wine is a little closed and astringent on the finish. After an hour in a decanter, it had opened and integrated nicely. To me, it tasted mostly of Petit Verdot, with ripe fruit of blueberry / blackcurrant and dark cherries. Despite its age, the wine seemed quite solid and youthful, not showing much aged complexity. The fruit is ripe enough, although not jammy, that I would have guessed its origin was California, not Washington. Although it’s not tremendously complex, it’s certainly complex enough to be entertaining, and altogether a steal at this price. (I couldn’t believe it was $4, but that’s what my notes say.) None of it survived to be sampled the next day.