12.5 How ya like THEM apples?!?

Opened a cheap little experiment tonight because kinda de-compressing from Valle De Guadalupe, Baja wine country and not cooking.  Of course the ‘Alexander Valley’ appellation is just NECTAR for me… I remember when this was poured at a little tasting room with La Crema down off Trenton Road/River Road where Eastside Road hits it.  Both wineries have since long moved into large corporate warehouses and are universally marketed…  Sparkling clear deep medium ruby with purple edges.  Intensely smokey nose with some chocolate and kiwi-sharpness.  A touch of that wonderful Alex valley briar and some sweet round spice, but somewhat typical Merlot thin-ness.  Clean and crisp on entry and nice ripe fruit balanced with a whallop of acidity.  Surprisingly righ and round over the middle and then fading–again: somewhat classic mid-tier Merlot thin-ness–away but substantial tannin presence.  Fairly one-dimensional tannin of a bitter variety completely erase any fruit lingering on the tongue.  Definitely a crowd-pleasing wine, but carries with it a few extra points for structure and fruit.  Considerably less annoying oak than their ‘Reserve’ offerings.  Not a dreadful wine by any stretch of the imagination.  12-5!!!  ♦

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