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2008 Merlot by Franciscan Estate Napa Valley

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Vintage: 2008
Type: Merlot
Country: USA — California — Napa Valley

2008 Merlot by Franciscan Estate in Napa Valley

This is a bottle  of wine I picked up at a local grocery store in San Diego. I paired it with leftover pizza but I think this wine deserves much more! It deserves to accompany a proper slow-cooked Sunday meal. It would certainly develop nicely in your glass over an evening of good conversation. This is a very good wine from Napa Valley that reminds me of some wines I have tasted on the Right Bank of Bordeaux.

Technical Review

Clear, deep garnet.

Clean, pronounced aromas of cherry, ripe strawberry and plum. A subtle herbal note.

Dry, high acidity, light tannins, medium body. Medium alcohol.
Flavour characteristics similar to the nose but with a smooth vanilla feel. Long finish.

Very good with potential for ageing. High priced (approximately USD$20) per bottle.

Château Lers Loumede 2005

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Vintage: 2005
Type: Bordeaux Blend
Country: France – Bordeaux – Côtes de Blaye

There is a deep garnet colour in the wine and strong legs – for a Bordeaux but typical for the vintage. On the nose are strong berries with a bit of oak along with hints of almond.

The pallet is full of robust flavours of blackcurrant and strong tannins that still need some time to integrate into the wine. Quite nice and should age well for a few more years.

Altaïr Vineyards & Winery Sideral 2002

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Vintage: 2002
Type: Red Bordeaux Blend
Country: Chile – Rapel Valley

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this wine is a collaboration with Chile and St. Emilion.

Big full flavours of prunes and black fruits. Nice highlights of oak with strong, but not overpowering tannins. Could use some more time in the cellar.

Château Marquis de Vauban La Cuvée du Roy 2005

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Vintage: 2005
Type: Bordeaux Blend
Country: France – Bordeaux – Côtes de Blaye

The wine has a deep red colour throughout the glass. The tannins are well integrated, if a bit young. On the pallet there is a rush of berries, cassis and blackcurrant, quite bold for a Bordeaux. The finish is long and sumptuous. The wine is still quite young and will happily age for another 5-10 years.

75% Merlot 25% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Meerlust Rubicon 2005

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Vintage: 2005
Type: Bordeaux style blend
Country: South Africa

This wine is still quite young and brutish. Heavy unbalanced oak with blasts of fruit and spice. Intense nose, still smells young. The flavours did start to level off after a few hours of decanting, so I am hopeful that this wine will benefit from a few more years in the cellar.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc & Merlot Blend

Château Rousselle – Soif de Vincent 2007

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Vintage: 2007
Type: Bordeaux Blend
Country: France – Bordeaux – Côtes de Bourg

This wine starts with a great name: Soif de Vincent, meaning the thirst of Vincent (who happens to be the Château owner at Rousselle). The wine is meant as a summer refreshment – served chilled. With that in mind, it is not your typical Bordeaux, as it is light and refreshing (though it still has some of the Bordeaux heritage of earth and mineral). Overall it is a great refreshing drink, best enjoyed in the heat with some lovely complexity for people that don’t like their wine too frivolous.

90% Merlot, 10% Malbec

Errazuriz Merlot

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Vintage: 2008
Type: Merlot
Country: Spain

This Merlot was disappointing. Normally Errazuriz is an excellent vineyard, but I found this wine lacking flavour and a little flat.

Yellow Tail – Merlot – 2008

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Vintage: 2008
Type: Merlot
Country: Australia

This bottle, just like its older brother from 2007, is highly drinkable on its own. It did not disappoint at the Tesco Wine Fair and I reckon I will be getting a case of the 2008. Not surprisingly, this wine is a favourite of mine because it offers aromas and notes of berries, plums and oak plus a vanilla finish on my palate. It is slightly spicy, which makes me think it will pair nicely with marinated BBQ or a meat-based salad! Women, if you are strictly white wine drinkers, this one might convert you.

More info here.

Le Carillon De l’Angélus 1997

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Vintage: 1997
Type: Bordeaux
Country: France

An excellent wine from St. Emilion made from merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc.  The flavours were intense and full, which you would expect from a St. Emilion.  This wine needs to be decanted and left to breathe, as the wine took some while to open up.  Recommended.

Montgras Reserva

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Vintage: 2006
Type: Merlot
Country: Chile – Colchagua Valley

Nice Merlot with good flavour and taste.