A little last-minute stop at Bev-Mo on the way to an impromptu backyard gathering for a variety of palates. Dug into the Merlot aisle, pulling a tried-and-true Duckhorn Napa for comparison with a proper CARNEROS version–at half the price. Couldn’t resist a few of the La Honda’s from 2013 on the shelf and stepped up everyone’s Veuve game with the pink stuff–NOT to be confused with the disgusting yellow plonk.

The Merlots performed as expected, though the Clos Pegase felt tired, shockingly. Amber brick in the glass and dull throughout, it was the last bottle with contents on the table–ALWAYS a telling sign. Bland and un-fruited, boring throughout, I was rather disappointed. The Duckhorn was rich and thick with seamless blackberry and currant, though a bit heavy-handed on concentration and oak for me. Still beautiful though. The SCM cab was a considerable juxtaposition to the softer sisters, making up for its dedication to spice and tannin with nearly a decade of glorious tertiary polish. The Veuve was opened alongside a Deutz Brut Classic and while the dame got the oohs and ahhs, the latter was the clear winner in my book. Both glorious wines–do NOT confuse ANY other wine Veuve produces with the yellow stuff–the Veuve felt a bit *safe* and contrived–almost too 7-Up-y perfect–while the Deutz shone with sharp fruity splendor and aching almond composition.

2020 DUCKHORN Merlot Napa Valley
2019 CLOS PEGASE Merlot Carneros Napa Valley
2013 LA HONDA Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mountains
NV VEUVE CLIQUOT Brut Rose Champagne France

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