Line 39 2019 Merlot

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$11.00USD

I’ve long reviewed wines based upon a simple principle: Is the wine I’m tasting commensurate with its price? Many expensive wines are not worth the price, and similarly, many inexpensive wines are not worth their price tag. So to find this Merlot, for 11 bucks, well, it’s worth every penny, and more. Line 39 did an exceptional job of making this wine and crafting a solid, dependable and tasty wine. Though not overly complex, it offers what every wine should: definable fruit, integrated oak, good acidity and tannic structure.

2018 Luna Vineyards Merlot Reserve, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

Luna made some nice wines.  This was certainly one.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has cherries, milk chocolate, spice, and slight plums.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, this is easy drinking but also has some depth.  Chocolate covered cherries with a slight bit of undergrowth.  Good finish.  Nice on its own, this is a classic burger wine as well.  Drink over the next ten years.  

2013 Realm Cellars The Falstaff, USA, California, Napa, Rutherford, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$425.00USD

This is a blend of 42% Cabernet Franc, 42% Merlot, and 16% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Impressive showing.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is tight at first but opens to show black cherries, cherries, chocolate, and brown tobacco.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  Wonderful velvety texture.  On the palate, this is delicious with black cherries, iodine, blueberries and crushed leaves.  Complex.  Still not fully mature but getting there.  Long finish.  No harm opening now, but another five to eight years and this might get a 100 score.  Great on its own, it will take big food right

2019 Château Fombrauge, France, Bordeaux, Saint Emilion, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

Mostly shut down at this point.  It is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc according to the winemaker's notes.  Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has cherries and cedar.  Medium bodied.  Medium tannins.  Delicious on the palate if one dimensional.  Black cherries.  Moderate finish.  This should be held for five to seven years and then consumed over the next ten to twelve.  

2019 Le Pavillon de Saint-Jacques, France, Bordeaux, Lalande de Pomerol, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$22.00USD

The label lists this as 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls.  The nose is simple with fresh cherry fruit.  Medium bodied.  Light tannins.  On the palate, cherries and black cherries.  Moderate finish.  This is a pleasant wine that should be consumed in the next few years.  It would make a nice mid-week wine with burgers.  

2019 Château Petit Village, France, Pomerol, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$105.00USD

Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  This is a blend of 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon according to the winemaker's notes.  The nose is nice with black cherries, smoke, plums, chocolate and cedar.  Firm tannins.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is very tight.  It unwinds a bit in the glass to show cherries, black cherries, and slight chocolate.  Some depth.  Nice finish.  Certainly, this seems at least a bit shut down at this point.  Best to hold this for five to eight more years, then drink for ten to twelve after that.  

2019 Le Seuil de Mazeyres, France, Pomerol, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

My first time trying this producer.  It is their second wine.  A blend of 73.1% Merlot, 24.3% Cabernet Franc, and 2.6% Petit Verdot.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with clay, and cherries.  Medium bodied.  Light tannins.  The palate has cherries with slight black cherries.  This is open and drinking well today.  Some complexity but mostly a tasty wine for immediate drinking over the next couple of years.  A nice wine with pizza.  Unfortunately, like most Pomerol wines, it is a bit expensive to be a daily drinker.

2019 Château Peybonhomme-les Tours Le Bonhomme. France, Bordeaux, Cotes du Blaye, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$17.00USD

According to the label, this is 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Malbec.  It is a biodynamic wine.  Ruby/purple in color if a bit flat.  The nose is nice with cedar, cherries, and a slight char.  Firm tannins.  A bit thin on the body.  Black cherry fruit with low acidity.  Moderate finish.  This is a nice inexpensive Bordeaux for drinking over the next few years.  It the fruit holds out, perhaps even longer.  Better with food.  This would be nice with meatloaf or a burger. 

Val Delle Rose 2018 Aurelio Maremma Toscana

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

Located in Southern Tuscany, Val Delle Rose is one of the largest wineries in the region. Their 2018 Aurelio, something of a flagship wine, offers superb quality fruit - muted pomegranate, rhubarb, black cherry, blackberry, along with a judicious use of oak that brings out cedar notes. There are vague back notes of dusty cocoa. This is a nicely balanced wine that combines all the necessary elements of oak, fruit, tannin and acidity, making for a wine that would be very complementary for any number of foods.

Cakebread 2019 Merlot

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

Soft and supple, there is a lovely viscosity to this Merlot. You’ll find notes of blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry and huckleberry surrounded by light cedar, raspberry compote and violets. The acidity allows for the fruit to shine through while maintaining structure for the wine. The tannins are fairly mild but this goes a long way on the palate. The judicious use of oak also helps to support the darker fruit of this wine. This is a soft, shy wine, not an aggressive over the top in your face Merlot.

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