Freemark Abbey Napa Valley 2011 Merlot, $25.99-$29.99, 89 points, was an opaque ruby trending cranberry red at the clear wine ring.
Red fruit aromas dominated subtle plum, rose, and sea breezes.
The medium-plus body was a bit rough, maybe just crisp, youthful, or just that the moderately strident tannin made for a somewhat edgy Merlot with good acidity. Either way, this wasn't like the more mellow Merlots as of late.
Plum, truffle, savory, oak, and dried herb flavors were okay, and carried long into the soft spicy finish with a well integrated 13.5% alcohol..
Paired well with a grilled roast-beef and cheese sandwich and spinach pie.
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