Incredible Dark fruit on the nose Black berry on the palate Incredibly smooth and balanced Unfortunately the last bottle in my cellar. If you have any in your cellar drink now - this bottle was better than any of the previous bottles
Best of the three I purchased, this one had none of the mustiness of the first or the muddiness of the second, but all of the earth, leather, mushroom, and dust. Best of both worlds. Huge bottle to bottle variation.
Short decant, heavy with sediment (not surprising in a 14 year old bottle) the nose began with a barnyard presentation and bell peppers, black cherries, funky. This changed quickly with air time and simmered down to a standard merlot bouquet. The palate was a little thin but still has berry flavors, soft acidity and chocolate tannins. The finish was medium in length and dragged out the tannins a little too long. Paired with food too spicy for what this could handle, turned into much too harsh of a tannic experience, match this with something mellow.
OK. Gave it some plastic wrap to remove a bit of damp basement. It was kind of interesting in its age. It shows vegetal notes, some campfire, and forest floor. IMO the wine is struggling to hold on. Have this with food, perhaps a dish with green peppers.
We opened our first bottle within a month of arrival from Garagiste and universally hated it. The better half refused it after a single sip. It was muted and dull, cloudy and short. I hoped for post-travel settling, but after a year of going through 3 more of the six pack, we were just happy our mistake had not been a very expensive one.
The last couple bottles have been sitting. Some you have written that you forgot about them. No such luck, I knew they were there, lurking.
We gave in last night and opened the second to last bottle. And, surprise, it really wasn't that bad. We drank it over the course of 2 days, and it stayed, pretty decent. Nice earthy tones, with a bare little bit of fruit peeking underneath.
Actually, on second thought, this was pretty good for sub-$14. The better half gave it thumbs up, and asked for more. Huh.
Some folks are saying drink up. I say, given how well it held up on day 2 (in fridge, no cork overnight), it can hold for another year, maybe.
Vastly better than my other bottle. Cork in perfect condition. Honestly, had forgotten about this bottle and expected a very tired wine, if drinkable at all. Pleasant on opening, started to rock after about midway through dinner. reminds me of some rolling stones records.
Color: deep red Aroma: dark fruit Taste: cherry, oak Complex, the more I drink it the more I like it A bit bold with earthy flavors up front, then complex fruit, then back to earthy on the finish. The finish is a bit stronger than I usually like but the complexity makes this wine very enjoyable
Delicious pop and pour with some roast chicken. showing nice complexity, some vegetal hints but also some nice black plum and black cherry fruit. Soft tannins, but still juicy acidity. Medium long finish with interesting sweet/vegetal notes.
This is the 3rd bottle tasted within the last year. The bottles displayed a a range: from fresh, rich and fruity (with complimentary herbal elements) to a leaner profile dominated by herbs. I happen to enjoy the full range. Today's bottle shows harmonious plum and cherry with leathery overtones and a nice herbal streak. Medium bodied in the mouth, the flavors echo the nose. Solid spine of acidity. Delicious with a moz/basil/tomato sandwich. Drinking well now, but capable of improving over another few years.
Pnp. Funky, earthy, tobaccoy aromas and flavors dominate. Fruit is clearly secondary. Fruit emerged a bit over a couple of hours but still plays second fiddle. A good aged wine with a smooth, clean mouthfeel and pronounced acidity. Remainder thrown in vacuum bar... we shall see what happens.
Another excellent showing. I can see this being a polarizing wine, as this is not about the fruit, but more about secondary flavors. Leather, bell peppers, celery seed, dried herbs and earth. This was ctually better on the second day. Quite an interesting wine, with nice acidity to keep it zippy with food.
Really love this wine. Shows great age characteristics, good merlot fruit, lots of depth, yet easy drinking. I found that this was a decent pop and pour. Didnt need a decant if you dont mid a little sediment. Great Value, sad it was my last bottle. Love being able to buy aged wines.
Opened several hours ahead of time but not decanted, and this bottle showed brilliantly -- very Bdx-like with pencil lead and terrific tense minerality. My first and first overall in a blind flight of five merlots from around the globe. Also for me WOTN altogether among 14 blind merlots. Was this really $14? If so, good for Garagiste. On the undrinkable/drinkable/tasty scale, this was tasty.
Leather and dirt on the nose, plus some black fruit and spice, and a good earthy finish. Rich and juicy on the palate, with lots of earth and spice, some black fruit and dirt, and a good leathery finish.
After a couple of bad bottles, we're back on track. A fine bottle of aged merlot that offers twice the complexity for half the price. Good acidic spine allowed it to pair quite well with gnocchi and bolognese sauce. Lots of earthy character as well... a mushroom ragu would pair nicely. Certainly at its peak though needs a bit of air to blow off some funk. Throws tons of sediment so leave bottles upright for several days prior to opening and decant carefully.
Definitely some funk on first opening. Settled down after a couple hours of slow-ox. Deep ruby color, medium body with nice soft tannins and earthy fruits with lots of smoky character. Tons of sediment. Pretty decent but not earth shattering.
This bottle was far more enjoyable than my previous from just a few months ago. It was certainly very funky at first pour, but over 4 hours it smoothed out considerably and became the perfect wine for the evening, which had me craving something not quite so young. Those funky aromas completely dissipate over the time open and now reveal just the right amount of a mushroom, earthiness to the aromas, coupled with earthy raspberries and sweet earth. The palate is soft and completely integrated now, showing some more mushrooms cooked in oil, mild funk, slight earthy strawberries, and very light tannin. Very nice acidity on the finish which is integrated with tannin and more mild funky, mushroomy fruit. Really perfect stuff, and a home run for the price. Wonder why I didn't enjoy the previous bottle as much... too close to receipt of the bottle perhaps? No hesitation to drink the other bottles.
Pepper and a little funk on the nose. Took a couple hours to open up but became somewhat enjoyable. At $14, a really good value. But, not a great wine. Drier than most Merlot. Somewhat smooth but not quite enough to be good from start to finish.
Well, I went through 6 bottles in 6 months and I'm pretty happy with this value. Deep and mature structure, complex bouquet with an average finish. Nice OW dirt and minerals with food-friendly acidity. Consistent bottle to bottle
Opened, poured through a Vinturi into a decanter, and tasted. Very dark in color. A lot of sediment was caught in the Vinturi's filter. Very slightly corked. Medium body, soft tannins, short-to-medium length finish. Will reserve score until I open another bottle that is hopefully not corked.
again a nicer bottle than the first two cracked, so clearly some bottle variation here, or maybe the first two were still shocked. was actually quite nice by the end of the evening, but I dont think one would want to wait until the next day to finish the bottle...
Garagiste does it again. A very fine merlot at a ridiculous price point. Nose is reserved, but the wine starts giving on the pallet with dark smoke, earth, some spice and a bit of dark berry. This wine is at its peak and will be fading fast. It's very elegant but browning. I don't recommend much air or you may loose what's left and that would be a shame.
a nicer bottle than previous 2. This is an interesting profile on this one, more fruit and balance to it, not nearly as harsh. I guess for 14 bucks 1 for 3 is not too bad, we will see if we continue to have bottle variation, three left!
Rimmerman was right on with this one. Aged wine at its finest, with a very pretty price point. This is the second bottle I've tried over the last 5 months. I was impressed by the first, and am more so with the second. The first bottle we drank in one night at a wine party and everyone appreciated its merits. This one I'm drinking alone, and on day 2, I am loving it even more. I appreciate the solid streak of almost racy acidity on day 2. Pairing with Lasagne and it is divine with the tomato sauce. I love the tea note, and don't even mind a little must from age. It is throwing a bit of black, powdery sediment, so be careful. Please, people, DO NOT DECANT aged wine, just let it open up and flower. This is the kind of value and authenticity in wine --as well as age potential-- that I always hope to find. Good one, Garagiste!
This was ready to go upon opening. Earthy, leather and tart cherry on the nose. Good dark fruit on the palate with fine integrated tannins and enough acidity to go very well with food. Very good QPR. Drink now!
Really started to show well after about hour 3. Leather, tea leaves, green peppercorn, black raspberry, graphite, tobacco and a hint of bleu cheese on the nose. Palate confirms black raspberry, tea leaf, with fully integrated tannin and functional acidity. Medium complexity with medium+ finsih that lingers. GREAT QPR
I normally enjoy my wines fairly young, and although I understand the allure of a properly aged wine, it's often tough to get it right before the wine falls off the cliff. This wine makes a good case for aging wine and it's in a great spot right now. The nose has taken on some leather and soil and cigar box notes but the berry fruit is surely still there. Upon first sip, the mouthfeel really strikes you as it is very silky. The flavor is a bit mature but at the same time it's vibrant on the palate with great acidity. The finish is med/med+ with plum notes and a hint of dirt. A great buy from Garagiste.
Pop and poured, in glass 20 minutes, drank over 4 hours. Certainly smells like a Bordeaux with some age on it, but a fairly cheap one. Things are a bit musty at first, but underneath that is graphite covered currants, some plum sauce, and some pickled greens. The palate entry hits with some nice red fruits mixed with darker berries, very mild acid, and very soft, barely left tannins. Pleasing fruit flavors and texture on the palate, where this shows very nicely. The finish gets off balanced though, as there's some volatile acidity and a mustiness to the fruit that really isn't pleasing. 10 seconds later acid lingers, but that mustiness is still there in an unpleasant way. This mustiness does subside a bit as the bottle has been open longer. Glad I picked up several of these, but glad I avoided the case I was thinking of. A good fun wine with age for a cheap price. Next time give this more air, because it definitely was best after open awhile (even better the next day).
If you are looking for a wild, bronco-like ride on a horse, this ain't it. But if you are looking for a ride on a smooth gaited filly then please introduce yourself to this bottle. This wine can be described with a lot of words that began w/ the letter "S": sensual, silky, smooth,satiny... Think of slipping between satin sheets on a hot summer's night or drifting in a rowboat on a smooth, still lake. Sedate, yes. But very heavy on seduction.
Dark garnet purple with some opacity developing. Nose plummy and tarry. Tastes a bit cooked, prunish, without smoothness and excessive savory elements unbalanced by fruit or sweetness. Not particularly enjoyable.
Third bottle in past 2 months confirmed suspicions: This wine is a great value and example of aged merlot, but it's on the downward slope and will fade with too much oxygen. Do not decant for long--a pop and pour may be the best approach, in fact. This time, popped and let stand for 1 hour without decant. Enjoyed the same lovely aged notes of leather, cigar box, a bit of green vegetable notes and dried tart cherries on the nose. Palate lovely and round with smooth, fine tannins. Then, about an hour later, the wine fades into a more acidic, thin version that loses the fruit and complexity, becoming more tart and drying. Quality and very enjoyable, just treat it right and drink up without reservation!
Lovely aged profile with very good complexity. Upon opening, this is thin to the point that calling this medium bodied might actually be a stretch but it fleshes out a bit with air. The swirling aromas and tastes of a delicious aged "claret" more than make up for any lack of weight. Moderately structured red fruits, pencil shavings, leather, tobacco, iron, and a pervasive herbal earthiness. Good acidity. Med length finish. More of a pasta wine than a steak one. Fun and delicious.
Well, this was a nice surprise. Lovely, mature aromatics of dried flowers, celery seed, leather and cassis. This reminds me of a moderately aged right bank Bordeaux. Light to medium bodied with a nice, lifted finish. Drinking quit nice at the moment, but I can see this lasting for a few more years (3-8). Silky smooth and mouth-watering good. Not as long on the finish as I would like, but the complexity and balance make up for it. Lovely stuff.
This is nice and very intersting.. Not your typical fruity Merlot. Lots of pepper here. The mouth feel is a bit thin, and it defintely shows it's age in the rusty color, but that age has softened this out nicely. Balance of red fruits and pepper.
Did not decant but it seemed to hit a real sweet spot about 4 hours after opening. Color is brickish ruby, remarkably opaque (like >95%!), very thin and clear legs. Throwing some sediment. Captivating nose of graphite, dark berry, chestnut, wedding flowers, sweet tar, raspberry kirsch, almond extract, iron shavings, and the palate delivers the complexity of the bouquet thoroughly. Silky, mature body with bright acidity and cushy tannins that hold their feel through a medium-long finish. Great, cost effective example of a nicely aged Merlot. 5+11+17+7 = 90
Did not take notes, but had mixed feelings about this one. Part of me gave it an 82 and part of me gave it an 88+. Perhaps some of the slight vegetal notes were a turn off and it also showed some forest smoke notes; but it has some elegance and old world style that I enjoyed. I'll take more detailed notes on the next one. For now I'd say pair with pepper steak or maybe a roasted fowl dish.
Delightful - and an amazing QPR, as noted poetically by Mr. Rimmerman. This is a dead ringer for a beautiful old school aged Bordeaux. Layers of nuance with a good bit of fruit still in the tank. Drinking incredibly well right now. Wonderful.
Very good, certainly a good QPR. From Friuli-Venezia, really? A dead ringer for a good value Pomerol, except there e are hardly any good value Pomerols, so perhaps Friuli can corner the market. Okay, kidding aside, good stuff, especially the nose with dark fruit, pencil shavings, some earth and leather. Nice on the palate, though a bit too much green bell pepper. Good acidity, better on day 2.
Better this time; intentionally kept the decant shorter, only 1.5 hours. The additional couple weeks in the cellar also could have helped it settle after receiving from Garagiste. The nose was similar, with hints of dark fruits, nice ageing characteristics like kirsch, and light tar and cedar. The palate was more green this time, but very round still. The finish took on the tar notes as the wine oxidized in the decanter. Overall, very smooth and pleasing. Elegant with great aged characteristics backed by enough acidity and smooth tannin to keep it all in balance. Very nice.
This tastes very much like an Italian wine and not like a typical Merlot. It is worth tasting. Overall I would say this is an incredibly enjoyable wine on first impression and taste. This was a Garagiste wine and I feel like I'm tasting exactly what I'm supposed to based on what Garagiste offered in the email.
Dark garnet of medium clarity. Aromas of blackcurrant, hint of coffee and anise. Velvet feel with good acid, tannins in the background, blackberry flavor that lingers. Overall a reserved wine with poise and resonance, calm but deep.
Decanted three hours. Still great color, dark red core with slight bricking on the rim. Nice, mature nose showing some leather, sour cherry, and kirsch. Palate flavors were rather muted, with some soft red fruits barely lingering. Round, smooth in the mouth with a medium length finish. Overall, a very nice wine to drink that paired very well with antipasti; but just nothing to really sit up and take notice. For $14, I'll take it though! Great QPR
Decanted twice 45 minutes before serving. Drank with Carnitas.
Cloudy and sediment-laden after straining twice. Cranberry at the rim. The initially thin nose blossomed after an hour or so as did the taste. Started out thin and a little sour (might have been the Margarita I had first). With time improved remarkably. Medium-bodied Cherry and lighter berries, and reasonably structured. Complimented the orangey carnitas well.
I agree with REDGUY that this wine may suffer from "travel-shock". I hope it settles well over the next few weeks. Has great potential.
UPS delivered a case and I pnp a bottle. Lovely aged profile with secondaries like leather, tobacco, and iron starting to emerge. Could taste the rough bitter edge of a sediment infused bottle with travel shock - left a few oz in glass overnight and noticed substantial sediment the next morning. Should be drinking quite nice in a couple of weeks.
He has only exported one vintage? Odd. Green and herbal and earthy. Tobacco. Structured. Really quite good. Shockingly good at $20. Shockingly vibrant and alive on day two. Can't imagine what day one was like.
very much a european-style merlot ( more burgandy than anything else) muted and soft on day 1. warm fruit, great structure and warm aftertaste. it did not hold up on day 2 and became more metallic. but very good QPR if you drink in one sitting