Merriam Vineyards Windacre Russian River Valley 2011 Merlot, $25.99-$27.99, 91+ points, poured a dark ruby red with a clear wine ring at the moderately leggy glass bowl.
Smells were earthy and subtle with hints of black licorice.
Near full-bodied with good acidity and developing tannin.
Early palate Merlot mellow, lush with hints of damson plum and chocolate flavors.
Mid palate was the genesis of an explosive late palate burst of layered escalating tannins, bright cherry fruit, and intense cinnamon, clove, and red pepper spice notes.
Finished long on the trailing palate with a warm 14.4% alcohol.
Of all the blind tasted red wines of the day, the whole group picked this Merlot as best of show!
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