Monday, June 7, 2010 - Anyone giving it a score of over 85, as of this date, is being charitable, is hitting some kind of pipe prior to imbibing, has a serious sinus condition or just hasn't tasted pre-industrial output fruit. Given the Washington merlots out there for much less money, ya, even a lot of CA merlots as well, not to mention a few pretty good examples from Australia...donnetmakeya wonder???
YES, I'm not tasting it in a blind and it's up against some pretty decent juice tonight, all by myself: '05 Joseph Phelps Napa cab, '04 Peju Provence Napa cab, '04 Cadence Bel Canto(Washington) blend(40%merlot), '07 OwenRoe Yakima (24%merlot), '07 Mark Ryan WildEyed syrah, '07 Catena malbec (91ws,91wa) $21. But I've had many hundreds (1000's by now) of CA, WA, Aussie and Italian merlots, along w/some pretty fine Bordeaux's over the years and if this grape is going to make any kind of a come back, even as a blending varietal, they've got to do a whole lot better than a whole lot of producers have been dooing for far toooo long, outside of a bunch of eastern washington examples over the past few years. Come on, not all merlots have succumbed to PINOT envy...have they?
At $60 it's a joke and at $29 it's getting its ass kicked by anything put out by Rob't Keenen, Pride, Shafer, Ch.SteMichelle, Columbia Crest or J.Bookwalter to name even a small group. EVEN the regular bottlings of any vintage of Bernarnd Griffin cab,merlot or syrah will blow away this bottle and another bottle of this squat I paid over $55 and tried a year ago but was too timid to publish a review on at the time. Put out some good juice TWOMEY, drop the retail to below $29 or retire the label. Screw all of this over-priced, over-hyped boutique drivel!!!!!! DEMAND real examples of good juice, reasonably priced. Why the hell should I pay for your lifestyle choices?
So here's the poop: muted nose of cherry/plum compote/compost? that may have been left out for too long, at least the oak monster didn't leap out, cheap off-brand blackberry preserves mid-palate (not the real BLACK RASBERRY taste/smell you might hope for in a Dickenson's jam AND...a very clipped finish for a $60+ retail point bottle of grapejuice, even after 2hours in the glass. This shit ain't getting any better, folks and I've got another '05 along w/a '00 left (professionally stored at 54.3 for almost all of its history).
Wine Speculator,Gary V, Parker, Tanzer et al. aren't doing enough for all of us in predicting future disappointments, let alone bird dogging the best (available) stuff, and the two editions of, "The Wine Trials" doesn't go deep enough. So what's left????? CELLAR TRACKER!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHARE it, push it, make it a vehicle for, "truth in tasting," sharing the good news of: finds, experience, experiences, value and the often appreciated( if well written): sublime bottle; worth almost any cost of experiencing and sharing. As Linda Ellerbee would have it, before retiring from her news gig, "and so it goes..."