A Month of Merlot

Like the talented child who has been overshadowed by his elder bother, Merlot is finally beginning to regain its birthright. The self-proclaimed Merlot Month of October is as good a time as any to celebrate this grape. IntoWine hand selected four Merlots to help you rediscover why Merlot is so good.

1992 Ravenswood Pickberry, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

This is a "Right Bank" styled wine.  There were some concerns over opening at age 26.  The cork looked in great shape.  The wine was decanted for sediment.  There was a lot on the side of the bottle and in the wine.  Ruby in color.  The nose is older but nice.  Cigar box, cherries, dried cherries, slight old leather and slight black cherries.  On the palate, this took a bit to open up and then it drank beautifully.  Complex and layered.  Cherries, dried tobacco, dry earth.  No tannins.  Good and in balance acidity.  Nice finish.  Not an OMG wine, but a very good wine that would compare favo

2017 7 Moons Dark Side Red, USA, California, Wine Review

This is a blend of Syrah, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Grenache.  It is a very drinkable wine that lists 13.5% Alc.  It retails for around $10 and this is a great value.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, cocoa and plums.  On the palate, this is slightly sweet.  Light tannins.  A nice varietal complexity.  Tart acidity. Long finish.  This probably should be drunk in the next few years.  Will work with a wide variety of foods.  Easy drinking and fun.  

2012 Alexander Valley Vineyards Cyrus, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 3% Petite Verdot, 2% Malbec.  Purple in color, slight ruby at the rim.  The nose is dusty and warm with cassis and spice.  Soft texture.  Good acidity.  Nice cassis fruit with an underlying earthiness.  Some plums on the finish.  Nicely layered, it unwinds in the glass.  It seems open but then keeps on opening more.  Still some upside here.  

2009 Sineann Abondante, USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Wine Review

When you own a wine cellar, every so often you lose a bottle only to rediscover it a few years later.  Sometimes it is over the hill by then, but you never know.  This one was one of those.  Abondante is a blend of leftovers at Sineann.  It is a great value and usually, they are consumed in a year or two.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is leather with good dark cherry fruit.  A bit of spice.  On the palate, this is tart red berries.  Cherries mostly but something a bit deeper.  Slight tannins.  Good finish.  There is some complexity there but not a ton.  Very food friendly.  T

2014 B Wise Vineyards Wisdom, USA, California, Sonoma, Moon Mountain, Wine Review

Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is dusty with slight aquarium notes.  Also some cherries and black cherries.  On the palate, there is a lot of heat and it seems disjointed.  Tart cherries but brown sugar.  Alcohol on the finish.  Again, this appears to be a poorly stored bottled, but how to know for sure or where the issue is.  Drinkable for sure, but doesn't work with food at this point.  Hopefully, this bottle was not representative.  

2009 Cuvelier Los Andes Grand Vin, Argentina, Valle de Uco, Wine Review

70% Malbec, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Syrah, 5% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot.  From the family that owns Leoville Poyferre in Bordeaux.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose is warm and slightly musty (not in an off way).  Also has some cassis and plums.  On the palate, this drinks like a Bordeaux; fruit, tobacco and earth.  Black raspberries and plums.  Slight tannins.  It has a nice depth and seems to be closing in on maturity.  A bit soft but within reason.  Would work with roasted or grilled meats quite well.  No hurry, but won't get better and probably should be drunk in the next five years.  

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