Nearly impenetrable, somewhat staining ruby with no edge.  Steely in the nose, offering closely-guarded quantities of fruit, briar and oak, generous to a fault upon searching, but thrifty to a casual glance.  With a bit of air, opulent and irascible, blessing everyone with a generous Christmas spirit of unforgettable elegance–but angry with substance.  In the mouth, shockingly tannic from the absolute get-go, obliterating any ladies-who-lunch Merlot-fantasies you have.  To me, calling a Merlot *cab-like* has always seemed denigrating to a wonderful variety easily capable of standing alone, but for the sake of descriptors, let’s call this “cab-like”.  Wretchedly dry, clawing acids, dusty rock road, and disgustingly briary fruit accentuate your Merlot-phobias.  As lush and forward as the bouquet is, no falling out of concentration occurs in the middle.  The supple salted licorice center drains a fat slather of syrup down your throat between the gauntlet of earth and structure.
2011 Darioush Merlot Napa Valley  14.8


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