Category Archives: Merlot

RECOMMENDED: Wente Vineyards Estate Grown, 2009 “Sandstone” Merlot, Livermore Valley/San Francisco Bay. 13.5% ABV. $12.99.

APPEARANCE: Almost purple, translucent, clear edges. NOSE: Dust on nose at first. Blackberry and spice. TASTE/MOUTHFEEL: Round, balanced, mouth-filling, expanding. Smooth. Fruity. A hint of licorice. Pipe tobacco, toasty oak. FINISH: Lingering and lovely. LABEL NOTES: Wente Vineyards, established in … Continue reading

Posted in California, Merlot | 2 Comments

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: elements by Artesa, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, AND elements 2006 Red Wine.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: elements by Artesa, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petite Verdot and 1% Malbec), 62% Napa County, 38% Sonoma County. 14.4% ABV. Around $17 but available for as little as $12.99. We … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Graciano, Grenache/Garnacha, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Red Blend, Tempranillo | 1 Comment

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Leese-Fitch 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, California. 13.5% ABV. $9.99.

Three of us tasted this beauty, and all of us were stunned that a Cab this young (and inexpensive!) could possibly be this complex and delicious. Turns out there’s a reason: while it is indeed mostly Cab, it is in … Continue reading

Posted in Alicante Bouschet, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Carignan, Merlot, Petite Sirah | 8 Comments

RECOMMENDED: Leese-Fitch 2009 Merlot (87% Merlot, 13% Syrah), California. 13.5% ABV. Generally $8.99-10, available for as little as $7.75 (http://vinobazaar.com/red-wine/merlot/leese-fitch-merlot-2009/).

APPEARANCE: Dark ruby red with clarity, cool pink/lavender edges. NOSE: A light layer of red fruits: strawberry, raspberry. Opened to aromas of soft flowers, a kiss of oak, and molasses. TASTE: Chewy, round, mouth-filling, balanced, smooth, and mellow. I couldn’t … Continue reading

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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Château La Bonnelle, 2008 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. Around $22 but you can find it on sale for $18-19. 13.5%.

This beautiful red Bordeaux is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Sounds simple enough, but somehow the vintner managed to turn it into an unusual, very interesting, highly aromatic wine with the heady bouquet and taste of flowers including violets … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Food, France, Merlot | Leave a comment

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Sterling Vintner’s Collection 2009 Meritage. Central Coast, CA. 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 7% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot. $12.99. 13.5% ABV.

Delicious! Oak, vanilla, and cinnamon. A first impression of brown sugar and jam gave way to a dry, beautiful wine. This is a wonderful, versatile everyday (i.e. inexpensive) blend that’s good enough for a dinner party. Delicious and classy, made … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Red Blend | Leave a comment

RECOMMENDED: 2009 William Knuttel Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County. 13.9% ABV. $19.99.

Delicious, smooth, elegant Cabernet Sauvignon. It was blended with Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, which explains why it is more of a Bordeaux-style red than a fruit bomb. It’s big but not in-your-face, and beautifully aromatic. It hasn’t been super-easy to … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot | 2 Comments

WINE TASTING. Two strong recommendations, lots of education.

On November 19, we attended a wine tasting hosted by Cuvée, Ocala’s wine bar and bistro (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED). The wines were presented by Tom Tiley, wine consultant with Coastal Wine & Spirits. Tom’s background includes 15 years as a Level … Continue reading

Posted in Argentina, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Chardonnay, France, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Red Blend, Restaurants, Sauvignon Blanc, Tastings, Zinfandel | Leave a comment

RECOMMENDED: Project Paso 2010 Red Blend, Don Sebastiani & Sons, Paso Robles. 22% Grenache, 17% Petite Sirah, 16% Syrah, 15% Merlot, 9% Zinfandel, 8% Tempranillo, 7% Malbec, 4% Barbera, 2% Touriga Nacional. 13.8% ABV. $14, available for less than $10.

Y’know how red blends with Cabernet Sauvignon are dominated by the Cab most of the time? That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just the way it is. I mean, if Robin Williams comes to your party, guess who’s going … Continue reading

Posted in Barbera, California, Grenache/Garnacha, Malbec, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Red Blend, Syrah/Shiraz, Tempranillo, Touriga Nacional, Zinfandel | Leave a comment

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Chalone Vineyard, 2007 Merlot, Monterey County. 13.5% ABV. Around $12, available for as little as $7.34.

When we dined out recently (Mesa de Notte, Ocala, FL, mesadenotte.com), we were pleasantly surprised by the wine list. In fact, TWO Chalones (Merlot and Chardonnay) were on the wine list, along with a Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, … Continue reading

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