This is a very simple wine, but one that manages to compact a lot of typicity into a little inexpensive screw-top. Fairly heavy brick in the glass, and probably at about peak intendency by the producer here at 7. The label isn’t going to win any awards, but inside: I can’t find too many flaws. It smells gamey and ripe, etched in tannic and acidic wonder, the briar a crushed-bug sorta dog-food nuance, the fruit definitely fading from whatever it *was*.
But drinking it exposes a gritty, red-wine body quite alive for what we consider the norm for cheap Merlot. It drinks like an inexpensive Right-Bank: all raspy and NOT slutty in the least. Fruit is thin, structure takes a firm hold on mouth-feel from the get-go, causing pause as to its ridiculously un-assuming packaging and provenance. I mean… if you’re going to drink Columbia Crest or Ch. Ste. Michelle, this wins clearly for depth and body. It tastes processed and mass-produced, a chemically type of tincture fitting background for the clean fruit and tannin. I can’t really find anything horrible to say about it–but also nothing particularly compelling. It’s just simple wine: with a positive asterisk for maintaining glorious acidity and structure.
2015 WHISPERING TREE Merlot Columbia Valley Washington 13.5