Unlike any merlot I can recall. A nice deep coloring accompanied by a muted nose that never opened over the couple of hours the bottle opened. In the mouth, a rich feel accompanied by some black cherry, a minty herbal note and some earth tones, but lacking completely the white/black pepper notes. The tannins have dropped off but it's hard to say this wine will improve with any more age. If the bottle did not say "merlot" I would guess a Bordeaux blend!
This is not your effete bottle of merlot. This wine exudes character. It is full rich well balanced with earthy finish. This drinks more like a bordeaux than a typical California merlot. I am only saddened by the fact it was my last bottle, because this wine will only get better with extended cellaring.
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