One of the best things about the beginning of a new year is searching the local wine retailers for quality wines bought on closeout deals. I have had good luck here in my home town of Las Vegas. Often, these wines have a bit of age on them –perfect for those who like a mature wine.
Wine writer Gil Lempert-Schwarz featured this wine in his column on 1/13/16. Since this red originally sold in the $40 range, a blowout price of $6.99 would be a steal. If… well, if the wine was still sound.
There is only one way to find out…
From first pop of the pristine, long cork, aromas of crushed berries waft from the glass and fill the room. The color is that of a mature claret – a nearly opaque, crimson hue, lightening towards the rim. The opulent fruit scents are joined by secondary bottle aromas of freshly turned earth, cellar/mushroom, light oak and cedar impressions, and a hint of minerality.
Now for the real test – the first sip. Wow! Ultra smooth with no tannic bite, the wine shows great refinement. The fruit is still going strong, but all other aromas and flavors are blended together to create a pleasurable mouthful of red. The fruit and earthy wood finish lingers for 15 to 20 seconds.
The bottle states that the winery was trying to produce a Merlot that would “rival the very best Pomerol chateaus.” While not Petrus, this is a very enjoyable Merlot that is in full maturity. The original retail price of $40 was reasonable – at this special price of $6.99 it is an absolute steal.
Sale price: $6.99 (Lee’s Discount Liquors in Las Vegas)
Wine Lines rating: 89