Sunday, March 20, 2011

Irony Merlot (2008 & 2009) Leads The Way

Merlot can be so good, so quaffable, so delicious.

I have strung together a rich string of  (For the most part) very nice Merlot wines.
Some of these Merlot wines are high on the QPR, and is readily available for purchase in New Hampshire.

Irony Napa Valley 2008 Merlot, $11.70-$14.99, 90 points, is delicious. Having a dense Bordeaux color, and a surprising aroma of toasty-grape. This is a medium-bodied wine with a nice feel, very smooth, having hints of bacon and black currant. Just a bit one dimensional, yet what a very nice dimension at that.

Irony Napa Valley 2009 Merlot, $12.99-$14.99, 90 points, is quite different than the 2008 vintage; the tannins are a bit tighter, which lends this vintage to a brighter more dynamic Merlot, yet not as smooth or as quaffable. The 2009 appears the same, but the aroma is not as pronounced.
These two wines remind me of the difference I found with the Beringer 2007 and 2008 Merlot wines Comments on Beringer Merlot Vintagesl
Irony Napa Valley Merlot can be found here:
Call ahead for confirmation, as availability changes moment by moment.

Estancia Central Coast Keyes Canyon Paso Robles 2007 Merlot, $11.99-$14.99, 90 points, because though a light-bodied wine, packed in there is flavor, sweet pleasure in abundance. I paid $11.99 for this wine, and you can't hardly find anything to complain about. The aroma is reticent , the color is typical Bordeaux, and the finish is long and of mild pepper.

Jade Mountain 2007 Merlot, $10.80-$15.00, 90 points, is another smooth, full-flavored Merlot, just much better tasting than the $10.80 I paid for it would hint at. Light Bordeaux color, gentle aromatics, but smooth with just a hint of spice, all wound together with flavors you might expect from a typical Merlot, but richer and brighter, and lacking any offense, this is a wine to try (Just might become a favorite).

Frei Brothers Dry Creek Valley 2006 Merlot, $15.00-$20.00, 86 points, is a bit green and thin, but the flavor is okay. Color is typical, aroma is a bit reticent, however there's a fair finish of spice.
$8.49, 87 points, with an aroma of plum and a color of Bordeaux, but tannic, tart, and tight. The flavor is okay, but as a Merlot-Mellow, it struggles to give that kind of pleasure (Delicious and smooth) I've gotten use to.

Hall Napa Valley 2005 Merlot, $24.99, 90 points, is dense purple, having a pleasant Red-Berry Aroma, a pleasant rich, but gentle palate feel and flavor, with a moderate finish of spice and a hint of chocolate. (Photograph is of the 2006 Hall Merlot)

Shafer Napa Valley 2007 Merlot,$34.9 9-$48.00, 93 points, because there is fireworks in that-there-bottle, with the three Cs aroma of cedar, clove, and cinnamon, flavors (Floral and Fruit-forward) are layered into a very big wine, and it did not surprise me that 15% is made-up of Cabernet Sauvignon, This wine is too much for common Merlot cuisine, but as a standalone wine, the Shafer was an experience, and one maybe too much for Mellow-Merlot lovers.  Having 14.9% alcohol makes this a "dangerous" wine for those of us who are use to Merlot wines rated at 13.5%.

Concha Y Toro Casillero del Diablo Rapel Valley, Chile, 2008 Merlot,
 $8.00-$12.00, 90 points, is bigger than these others, but not as big as the Shafer Merlot. It is darker, and having two of the three Cs, clove and cinnamon, more fragrant  than the others, but not as fragrant as the Shafer Merlot. Concha Y Toro has a long finish of spice rounding off a robust and delicious Merlot. 

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