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Please note: We review wine, beer, and spirits. We don’t sell it. Prices may vary significantly due to shipping fees and state taxes, and some items may be hard to find.
95 • Château Julien 2007 Private Reserve, Merlot, Monterey County $42.
Exotic aromas of cherry cola, melted toffee, thyme, and pomegranate-mint gelato with a silky fruity medium-to-full body and a lively blueberry compote, dried meat, and spiced nut accented finish. A really fresh and fun merlot that will shine from every angle at every occasion. (tasted on Feb-07-2011)
93 • Rutherford Ranch 2008 Merlot, Napa Valley $18. Best Buy.
Garnet purple color. Dense aromas of berry compote, mint cream, and crispy bacon with a supple, concentrated fruity-yet-dry medium-full body and a long, evolving, nut and earth accented finish and plush tannins. Beautifully poised for sipping or the table. (tasted on Feb-07-2011)
93 • Chateau Meroux 2007 Merlot, Bennett Valley $12.99. Best Buy.
Concentrated aromas of dried cherries, kirshwasser, bacon fat, and baking spices with a round, fruity-yet-dry medium-full body and a tangy, spicy plum and chocolate finish. Very tasty with appetizing acidity and structure. (tasted on Jan-31-2011)
93 • Sawyer Cellars 2007 Merlot, Rutherford, Napa Valley $39. Cellar Selection.
Deep ruby garnet color. Rich berry pie, mocha cream, and dried lavender aromas with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium-full body and a long, lush, toffee, citrus marmalade and earth accented finish. A flavorful, expansive merlot for sipping or the table. (tasted on Feb-07-2011)
92 • Hannah Nicole 2007 Merlot, Contra Costa County $22.
Rich garnet color. Aromas of thyme honey, dried lavender, plum pie and mild borscht with a soft, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tangy and savory roasted tomato and powdery tannin finish. A lively table that with go great with lamb or pork loins. (tasted on Feb-07-2011)
91 • Alexandria Nicole 2009 Destiny Ridge Vineyards, "Gravity", Merlot, Horse Heaven Hills $24.
Garnet color. Aromas of berry tart, creme brulee, and dried tropical fruits with a supple, fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a smooth, pencil shaving and spice accented finish. Very nice. (tasted on Jan-03-2011)
90 • Jason-Stephens Winery 2007 Estate, Merlot, Santa Clara Valley $24.
Deep garnet violet color. Jammy berry pie aromas laced with vanilla frosting and spices with a supple, fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a tangy honeyed dried currant, plum skin, and earth accented finish with chewy, balanced tannins. A very polished and flavorful sipper or table wine. (tasted on Feb-21-2011)
89 • Hannah Nicole 2007 Reserve, Merlot, Contra Costa County $32.
Rich garnet color. Aromas of baked plums and berries, honeyed pound cake, and forest floor with a supple dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a savory roasted beet, baking spices, and black raspberry tart finish. A complex, flavorful merlot. (tasted on Feb-07-2011)
89 • Hawk Haven 2008 Merlot, Outer Coastal Plain $34.
Interesting aromas of spicy pickled green tomatoes, kiwi, and strawberry tart with a buoyant dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a craisin, cedar, and bell pepper accented finish with fine fruit tannins. a nice lively merlot that will be great with meat and pasta dishes like lasagna. (tasted on Jan-31-2011)
88 • Alexander Valley Vineyards 2008 Wetzel Family Estate, Merlot, Alexander Valley $20. Cellar Selection.
Aromas and flavor of plum tart and spice with a crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium and a tart plum skin and cedar driven finish with firm tannins. Give this some time. (tasted on Jan-31-2011)
88 • Maryhill 2008 Merlot, Columbia Valley $14.99. Best Buy.
Dark roasted chocolate covered nuts and espresso bean and dried sour cherry aromas have a pleasant meaty edge with a supple, dryish medium body and long, tangy cocoa and pink peppercorn finish. Very nice and an excellent choice for mole. (tasted on Feb-21-2011)
87 • Vinum 2008 Merlot, California $12. Best Buy.
Deep garnet color. Aromas of baked cherries and strawberries, melted chocolate, and faint crispy back bacon with a soft, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a tangy, cedar and rhubarb accented finish. A nice all-purpose sipper or table wine. (tasted on Jan-31-2011)
86 • Rotta Winery 2006 Merlot, Paso Robles $16.
Ruby color. Aromas of cherry compote, strawberry-rhubarb pie and toasted nuts with a supple, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a savory pickled beet and carrot skin accented finish. A nice table wine; try with portabello burgers. (tasted on Feb-07-2011)
86 • Biltmore Estate NV Merlot, American $14.99. Best Buy.
Aromas of cherry butter, strawberry vinaigrette, aloe, and cedar with a crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a chewy rhubarb and cedar saw dust accented finish. (tasted on Jan-31-2011)
85 • Domaine Sonoma 2007 Merlot, Sonoma County $10.99.
Deep garnet violet color. Aromas of pomegranate compote, pound cake, bittersweet chocolate, and pickled okra with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tangy roasted nut and earth finish with pulpy tannins. (tasted on Feb-21-2011)
85 • Mushal 2006 Merlot, Dry Creek Valley $10.
Chocolate covered cherry and mild pickled beet aromas with a soft, dryish medium body and a smooth, roasted carrot, cedar, and earth accented finish. (tasted on Jan-31-2011)
84 • Campus Oaks 2007 Merlot, California $8.99.
Aromas of cherry lipstick and honeycomb with a brisk, very fruity light-to-medium body and a chocolate strawberry finish, roasted pepper, and cedar accented finish. A straightforward fruity crowd pleaser. (tasted on Jan-31-2011)
84 • Backhouse 2009 Merlot, California $6. Best Buy.
Bright ruby color. Aromas of chocolate covered strawberries and peppercorns with a soft, brisk, fruity light-to-medium body and a sweet dried cherry and cocoa finish. A pleasant, simple quaffer. (tasted on Jan-31-2011)
84 • R & B Cellars 2006 Towne Ranch, "Metronome", Merlot, Napa County $18.
Compacted aromas of baked berries and clay have a hint of acetone and caulk with a spry dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tart sour cherry, red meat and beet accented finish. Different; try with steak tartare. (tasted on Feb-07-2011)
83 • Butterfield Station 2009 Merlot, California $7.99.|Find-a-Wine|
Garnet violet color. Aromas of chocolate covered cherries and honeyed raisin toast with a crisp, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a rhubarb, cigar wrapper, and earth accented finish with chewy, chunky tannins. (tasted on Jan-31-2011)