Merlots 


2001 Leaping Lizard Merlot $ (10.99)   It got a one from me as it was a gift, but honestly, the comics of Lil Orphan Annie deliver more pleasantries.  

1995 Talus Merlot ? (gift from dinner guests)     A rich supply of red fruits, and oak aging deliver a wine that has a smooth, long finish.  Like a statue carved from a solid piece of wood, bottle aging brought out the subtleties of this wine and made it a great complement to mesquite grilled London broil.  

1999 Black Jack Estate Merlot $$ (34.99)    Hey, I was at dinner with someone who bought this bottle.  I didn’t order the Merlot.  But this is a muscular Merlot with a deep dark color, cherry and earthy tones with a smoky full finish and silky tannins.  Not a bad wine for a girly Merlot grape that California toughened up.

2000 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Merlot $ (11.00)   Rough and tumble with some dark cherry and raspberry, but the finish is short and there is little charm to this one.

1999 Monterra Merlot $ (10.99)   This is actually an interesting blend of 76.5% Merlot, 9.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.3% Zinfandel, 4.1% Sangiovese, 2.4% Petite Sirah, 1% Pinot Noir and I think that leaves 2% for some other stuff.  Soft and fruity, like some people I know in San Francisco, with hints of black cherry, and smoke.  Minimal tannins and a touch of vanilla from the 10-month aging in American oak.  

1998 Clos Du Bois Alexander Valley Reserve Merlot $$ (36.00 rest.)  As you are well aware; Merlot is not a grape that tickles my fancy.  This is a soft, mellow wine for a dinner party that wants to drink red, but enjoy white.  The surprise here was the toasted oak that flavored this wine and made it more than a fruit drink.

1997 Robert Keenan Merlot, Napa Valley $$ (30.00)   Black Cherry and plumb with soft tannins on the finish blended well with the cheese. 

1999 Silver Ridge Barrel Select Merlot $ (10.99)     Merlot’s are not my favorite but this wine is packed with fruit and has a pleasant, easy drinking style.  Cherries are all over the aroma and taste of this wine, a pleasing wine for those who do not want overpowering reds.  This is a good starter wine or a safe wine to bring when there are divergent winos at dinner.

1999 Quail Creek Merlot $ (11.00) This is why I am not a Merlot fan, not much to this one.  The fruit is faint, the finish is short and there is a bit of harshness to this wine.

1998 KWV Rooderberg $ (11.00)    A pleasant blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon which brings a smooth, fruity sensation to the palate.  A wine for enjoying with friends with blackberry and cherry and mild tannin.  Enjoy now or over the next few years, but not a keeper for more than 5.  

1994 Dry Creek Vineyard Dry Creek Valley Reserve Merlot  $40.00 (purchased at the Winery in 1996)  This was one big merlot!  Plenty of fruit and complexity.  Deep, deep color with legs that wouldn’t quit.  This bottle had something for everyone beginning with a nice balance of firm plum fruit and a lingering, slightly dusty merlot finish.  Rating 90

1996 William Hill Merlot - House wine for the revered Auberge d'Soleil in the Rutherford section of Napa.  We like to stay at this fancy Inn and Restaurant where rooms go for $400-900 per night, more during the Holiday season.  This is a fantastic Merlot that displayed a perfect balance of Fruit that included Plums and almost a hint of well-ripened strawberry coupled with just the right amount of "dusty" finish that a great Merlot should have in order to pave the way to a soft and smooth finish.  The finish was not overly dry, thus breaking the trend of so many current Merlot offerings.  $34  Rated 90      WinoHondo


 

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