Value Merlot: It’s time to think about Merlot again

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If you want to know how good a value any specific category of wine offers it’s always good to start at the bottom, or close to it. Take Merlot for example. It’s been in the dumps ever since Sideways came out, and yet if you ask me and other folks who follow these things, you know that we’ve been trying to get you to check out Merlot for a few years now.

When a grape goes through a slump many growers will switch to something more profitable, particularly if their fruit wasn’t that good to begin with. Growers who produce great fruit often just can’t bring themselve to graft it over to something that make them more money but for an inferior product. So they keep growing the grapes, in this case Merlot, deal with what the market offers then, and hope for better times to come. Well folks, better times are here. You can tell that by sampling some of these less expensive Merlots. They offer great value and best of all they often taste and feel like Merlot….

Recommended: 2011 Washington Hills Merlot Washington – $10

“A bit tight on the nose with an early hint of minerality followed by some tobacco and dried chili notes along with mint topped cherry and plum fruit. Soft and broad in the mouth with nice transparency to the black fruit on the palate. There’s a faint suggestion of black raspberry sweetness to the fruit which is washed away on the mid palate by slightly creamy chocolate and carob notes and a soft wash of herbaceousness. No real tannins to speak of, this is smooth and easy drinking, yet delivers a little complexity along with nicely bright fruit and shows a little licorice and a hint of minerality on the moderately long finish.” – Gregory Dal Paz

One comment

  1. Making a note of this one, hopefully my local Safeway cairres it. I’m pretty picky when it comes to Merlot. Not that I have a refined taste, it’s just I don’t tend to like very many. I’m also not a big cranberry or raspberry guy either, but you guys seemed pretty adamant about it being a pleasant wine and I’m rediscovering the goodness of cinnamon. I’ll follow up once I’ve had a chance to try it. Thanks!

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