Extreme barnyard on the initial nose: manure, not-too-pleasant compost and dog-park funk that DOES breathe off with air, thankfully. This surprises me on one hand, as Boeger is fairly mainstream and this variety is a *comfortable* buy for the general public. It DOESN’T surprise me in that I have tasted some REALLY odd renditions of common-place varieties from the Sierra Foothills. I won’t go so far as to suggest they should ‘Stay in your lane’–with varieties more suited to warmer climes, because I have tasted some incredible wines from up in those parts made from Bordeaux varieties. But hey, a little bottle-funk never hurt anyone.
Once the dreariness is gone, it is a rather lean little drop, showing a mellow nose of un-offensive mild fruit, some acid and a little spice. Given the PP, it’s a pretty expected and direct rendition of Merlot, showing a teensy settling-down tertiary ahead of its slight amber edge. A bit of that lovely volcanic conifer euc/mint pops in excitedly at the end, reminding you.
In the mouth, dirty, grainy, bitter tannin and verve greets you quite surprisingly early on late-entry. This wine is not wasting any time showing who’s boss, and again–as loyal readers know–I applaud anyone who makes Merlot in a style you DON’T take to a Tupperware party. Now that I am tasting it, I must retract my initial judgement and say the barnyard of the nose holds hands quite nicely with this middle power. Tannins invade the finish, obscuring the fluffy portions of the fruit, but unable to completely neutralize the dark black cherry at its core.
Could this be THE most Bordeaux Superieur-esque wine I have ever tasted from California? I can’t argue that offhand. Magnificently thin and lacking any flabby concentration or heady oak, it propels itself across the palate like an arrow, making few waves and striking hard. I would be concerned about the fruit lasting terribly beyond age 10, but a wine this streamlined could perform miracles in the cellar easily–I have seen it many times.
In retrospect, quite blown away how this wine performs start-to-finish and the focus and restraint it shows. Forget that part at the beginning about the nose. I have forgiven those sins handily.
2015 BOEGER Merlot El Dorado Sierra Foothills California 13.5