what a smooth wine - nice job with a merlot. Structure breaks down slightly upon swishing but fruit generally holds together and displays a fruity taste - feels like its barely holding on to the fruit almost like a berry that is on the border of being too ripe. Did you ever bite into a peach and have part of it be firm and part of it mushy? that is what this wine is like - its right on the border of a very very good merlot but completely consistent or complex it is not. I liked it for the money and would drink it again over many wines 4x its price - very impressed with this WA State wine.
This wine was really nice and perfectly balanced after corking and held up really great for first 30 minutes - would have given it a 96 had it continued. Nice fruit on the nose, balanced tannins, nice body and full finish just delicious. It changed rapidly though and became a bit flabby after about 30 minutes - thus the 92 rating. But for first 30 minutes, one of the best aged napa wines I've ever had!
We drank this bottle next to a 2003 Pichon and the Beringer Private reserve was far superior. The pichon did open up and calm down after about 6 hours of decanting but the Beringer was excellent from the moment the bottle was opened through the whole afternoon and evening. The tannin had settled in and was very tame - beautiful nose with some subtle red current, mocha and chocolate and a hint of vanilla on the finish. This had none of the barnyard beginning leather or tobacco of the Pichon. I believe the wine has the structure to retain its complexity for several more years and this is drinking fabulous right now - amazing.