Continuing on into my little treasure-trove of old Merlot I found a few weeks ago–I KNOW it’s a waste of money: I’ve learned this over and over, but the appeal is irresistible. I love seeing how various houses treat their Merlots and how they age relationary to that early presentation. Haven’t had a Carr in a long time, memory says they are rather plush and oaked on release, and of course 2011 needs no introduction–though I feel this grape suffers a bit more than Cab in these vintages.
Still-bright ruby, a hint of garnet creeping about the rim. Luxurious leathery nose, all rich and velvety with distinct briary sharpness icing dark, thick cherry reduction. A savory aspect presents itself throughout, burning deep cassis and licorice through anise-coated walls of petrichor. It’s quite lovely, presenting itself boldly and elegantly–almost like cab.
Tasting it makes no disappointment necessary. Supple and full-bodied, the structure well-integrated into chubby fruit. Rather gorgeous, the fruit thinning appropriately, but rich and strong throughout the mouth-feel. Delicately balanced and proportionate on all sides, sharp, thin citrus preps the tongue for polished fruity insertion. A bitter tobacco note surfaces early-finish: a last salute to deliciousness sans sluttiness. Oily and concentrated, I honestly think this wine’s got another half-decade or more of life. Tannins are thin, but in a perfect spot: neither over-powering or acidic in tendencies. A lovely wine and quite the contrast from the last ’11 Napa Merlot I drank. You probably won’t find this on a shelf like I did, but I wish you could. These are inexpensive beauties.
2011 JOSEPH CARR Merlot Napa Co. 14.1