Better on Day 1 than Day 3. Dark fruits on nose and palate with light vanilla. Some earthiness. Well balanced and long finish. Silky with nice acids and structure. By Day 3 there is a port-like quality starting to emerge - probably due to indifferent storage.
Let the bottle opened and decanted for over 3 hrs and drank over 2 hrs. Very prominent fruity, berry and vanilla nose. On the palate, it shows its depth and complexity. Very long, silky and balanced mouth feel. All of us enjoyed this beautiful bottle!
Decanted for 1 hour. Dark stewed red fruit. Little bit of woody action on the nose too coupled with some strong spice and leather too. More of a Cabernet Sauv styling than Merlot...really no soft textured chocolately or vanilla godness I expect from Shafer Merlot. Palate is hot with more alcohol showing than desired. Medium dark spicy raspberries, tomato juice (weird) and some charred oak. Not my favorite vintage of their Merlot.
TWATS VIII (Simmy's Pink Palace): Darkish. Beautiful nose. Oak barrel. White & milk Chocolate, blue fruit. Cali for sure! Love the nose! Glycerin on the palate, and great mouth feel. Sim pontificates that 5 & 1 are second cousins. A big bastard.
II. Sweet, alch., hotish. Gaining weight, smoky oaky and a pronounced milk chocolate nose. Niccce. Balanced, will be excellent. Young & gangly like a 16 year old, but approachable in a perverted sort of way.
Very nice bottle of merlot, balanced, although a bit light on fruit. Previous tasting of this was back in 2005, and I think this has faded slightly since. Consumed over 2 hours, pretty consistence over that time.
Awesome, but next to the Keenan 25th Anniversary Merlot it was a bit on the light side, that said it was quite tasty - Dark, full/medium bodied with a nose of sour cherry, plum, cedar, spice and vanilla, complex, balanced, sweet/sour on the palate with very good length (90 Points).
Shafer makes great wine and this bottle is no exception. We drink this with our BBQ ribs and it powered right through the sauce. (Our first bottle was a Turley Zin) This Merlot is better than many Cab's that we drink.
Dark purple and more dark berries...some blueberry notes this time around, with a touch of chocolate. Easy entry a very fruit forward grip that was almost fat, but balanced on the end with a light tannic framework that helped the finish. Paired well with charcoal grilled ribeyes...
Took some time to open up. We decanted and drank over several hours. Worth the wait, long finish. Cherry, raspberry, smoke. We haven't had many bottles of merlot this $ or good so tough to compare but this was quite enjoyable.
Dark color and an almost cabby nose that had some chocolate and rich dark fruit...with some earthy smokiness underneath. No doubt about substance, but still a little tight and in some ways brooding...and not fully open. No doubt about substance, should age nicely.
For Shafer's 20th vintage of their famed merlot, muscular and ripe black currant, dark red plums, and hints of juicy cherry seperate the 2003 from pervious vintages with the sheer intensity of its fruit. Even with its strong character, it still remains graceful and refined with toasty oak, dark chcolate, and soft smokey tannins. Although robust and lively, it still remains a perfect food wine.
Time...this wine needs time to open up, and when it does the reward is there. I nursed this over several days, as the substance was just not revealing on opening. From the first there was a strong smokey and dark fruit character, and this later showed some chocolate and dark plum...a rich dark purple color, and on opening a hard and firm character that hid the fruit, but eventually that came out in spades.
Nearly out of control at first -- the heat overwhelms the fruit at the start -- but eventually (especially on the second night) it settles down. When it does, it's what Merlot is all about: it shows strong cassis, plum, mocha, toffee, and spice. It's full-bore and loaded with alcohol. It's also about the most one can expect from this grape at just over $30. Very similar to the '02, though in my view it's slightly less impressive.
Opened and not decanted at Winter Break party. This one wasn't a huge hit right after it was opened....so there was a lot of it left at the end of the night. Wow, how this changed over 3 hours exposed to air. Every aspect of it improved. Kristi had dumped the remainder of her first taste declaring it to be crap...but when revisited at the end it became her WOTN. Evidence of the power of decanting.
Opened for PM Holiday Party 2005. Tasting note from memory. Very nice merlot from Shafer but it seemed to be a bit restrained compared to previous years. Some bright fruit initially, and a nice richness developed over an hour. Smoke and a bit of chocoloate at the end. Overall, a lighter style and I’m not sure this will be good for long term cellaring.