Got this bottle from the winery's wine club for $24 (when we used to belong to the wine club) and drank with Ming Tsai's "Red Roast Pork with Bok Choy "Fondue," which Arthur made with an entire bottle of Merlot (we didn't use a quality Merlot; we used a bottle of "Two-Buck Chuck" Merlot). This is a classic Opolo red: very fruity red, plenty of new American oak, an abundance of ripe red and black fruits, with a smooth, well-balanced finish. The nose is slightly earthy and oaky, with suggestions of oak, fruit, and spice. Up front, there is an abundance of red and black fruit (black plums and raspberries especially), a healthy dollop of oak (I'm assuming new American oak), and some spiciness in the background (black pepper, sage, and rosemary). Like most Opolo reds, this is a very smooth, well-balanced red, with perfect acidity, smooth, sweet oak, with a wonderfully smooth finish. Also like most Opolo reds, it's not the most complex red you can get out of Paso. However, this bottle is smooth, delicious, and reliable. If you're not expecting Opus One quality, this is a nice, affordable red. If you go into the "game" without a ton of expectations, you can't go wrong with this Merlot. Like a good Cabernet, this bottle would pair well with richly-flavored stews, a nice steak (prime rib, ribeyes, etc.), or curried lamb shanks. Yummy.
This is a very good wine in most respects, but I just cannot get past the smell. The color is a deep purple and the taste has reduced cherry and blueberry flavors with a nice medium finish. Unfortunately for me, the nose is this prune-bitter smell. The cork looked good and the nose is not really a cork taint, just not an enjoyable nose. Decanted for a couple hours. Tasted with and without food.
Boerne Wine Club - Merlot (Scenic Loop Cafe, San Antonio, TX): Reduced/stewed fruits on the nose, with a nutty character in the background. Full syrupy mouthfeel with currants and plum and raspberry highlights. Mouthfeel more typical of Zin than Merlot. Medium finish, with dark fruits, maybe more black cherry, though slightly simple. Big fruit driven style, ends up a little simple, but pleasant and enjoyable. My #6, Group #5
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