Dry Creek Merlot

A favorite–though rather obscure–Merlot producer of mine, drawing from the incredible Arroyo Seco AVA: something far more known for Chardonnay… but think about it… take all the time you need… Great chard regions = great Merlot regions. Carneros ring a bell? And I just learned this winery is in Santa Rosa… I always just assumed they were in MontCo somewhere, or maybe Carmel Valley or something. I’ve never had anything from this label but Merlot, and maybe someday will happen upon some of their Pinot.

Very odd nose upon opening: a burnt–rather unpleasant–kinda asparagus toastiness. It blows off in a few minutes, and I decanted gently. Ridiculous sediment caking the entire bottle, but not terribly bricking. Nose is deep and dusty and ripe, the cherry tinged with maraschino and dried floral pulling the third-plane of polish together–though rather blandly. Rocky earth fills the base, touches of earthy briar going almost petrichor.

A rather magnificent drop on the tongue: the fruit and acid perfectly melded together in concentrated aplomb, biting around the edges with gobs of glorious berry at the core. Burnt asphalt churns in from behind, offset by chalky dryness and fruit that goes on for literally forever. Tannin is still a contender: all that black walnut and briar coming together to lift and massage the pomegranate and currant. Ridiculously balanced throughout, with no Merlot fruit-fade or astringency. I love these wines.

2011 MCINTYRE Merlot Kimberly Vyd Arroyo Seco Monterey Co. 14.5


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