Only Morons Don’t Drink Merlot

Clear beautiful garnet, somewhat staining and clear edges.  Tiny funk on opening blows off quickly in decanter.  Peppery gob-smacking nose oh so ripe and yet with a spicy edge.  Layers of oak, sublime dark dark cherry preserves border-lining on amaretto.  Wet leather piquantness with a backbone of  eucalyptus and fat lemon meringue with butter crust.  Some dead-life ripeness but pulls it off in astonishing fashion.

It is interesting to compare this with last night’s 2007 29% merlot meritage. Again–like last night–I would guess a wine which shows very poorly young, but here at age 8 it pulls it off.  Both are small, relatively unknown producers trying hard and where last night’s bottle failed on acidic construation, this goes the opposite direction in *almost* failing on overt ripeness.  This thing has to be 14+ and is some of the most concentrated Merlot I have had, but it brings it HARD with acidity and balance–offsetting the almost-pornographic ripeness.  It would be fun to put this up against Three Palms or Nickel & Nickel or Beringer Reserve or any of a number of hi-end Merlots.

In the mouth, fat overwhelming rich ripe concentrated fruit plies the course with incredible acidity and a fair balance–although a touch of alcohol out-weighs the acid.  Three-Chocolate dessert.  Unlike most Merlot’s, the fruit carries long into the middle and finish before the rubbery tannins take over.  Yes, it has PHENOMENAL tannin–even at 7 years old–showing no sign of polish or fade.  This could be considered a flaw.  Will the fruit out-live the tannin?  In classic Merlot fashion: probably not.  They are dry and numbing and impossible to forget, but at the same time the shockingly overt fruit carry on in tête-à-tête conviviality with the structure.  This is a Merlot where Pomerol meets California and one you will not soon forget.

2007 MCCONNELL ESTATES Merlot Wackman Ranch Cosumnes River Lodi SJV 13.7

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