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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.
94 • Five Star Cellars 2007 Merlot, Walla Walla Valley $32. Organically Grown Grapes-Certified Organic
Aromas of buttery toffee and caramel corn, clay, and spicy berry compote follow through on a round supple entry to a fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body with excellent depth and a juicy sour cherry, creamy mocha, cedar, and baking spice finish with polished tannins. Great purity of flavor with deftly balanced oak. (tasted on Jul-19-2010)
92 • Starmont 2007 Merlot, Napa Valley $26. Cellar Selection.
Rich ruby black color. Dense dried berry and honeyed caraway rye toast aromas follow through with sensational vibrancy and depth. Fruit-yet-dry and full bodied this wine explodes with tangy fruit on the palate and finishes with a long, supportive, spicy oak flourish. A fantastically flavorful and vital merlot for the sipping or the table; pair with a great steak. (tasted on Aug-09-2010)
92 • Maryhill 2007 Proprietor's Reserve, Merlot, Columbia Valley $24.99.
Aromas of plum pie, sandalwood, and creme brulee have delicate spice and dried flower notes that follow through on a silky entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body with solid depth and lively acidity. Finishes with a chocolate mousse, dark caramelized nut, cedar, and earth accented fade. Very nice. (tasted on Jul-19-2010)
92 • Midnight Cellars 2006 Estate, Merlot, Paso Robles $19. Best Buy.
Aromas of plums, nut brittle, and chocolate raspberry mousse follow through on a round, supple entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body with great depth and tangy mouthwatering acidity. Finishes with a long, tangy berry skin, peppercorn, and earthy tannin fade. Very nice. (tasted on Jul-19-2010)
92 • Reynolds Family Winery 2007 Merlot, Stags Leap District $40.
Dense aromas of black raspberry coulis, cocoa, baking and pickling spices, and clay follow through on a bold, round entry to a fruity-yet-dry full body with superb depth and zesty acidity. Finishes with a long dried blueberry, craisin, and creme brulee accented fade with notes of forest floor and seamless tannins. A powerfully delicious merlot that is sure to please in every way. (tasted on Jul-19-2010)
91 • Prix 2006 Reserve, Estate Bottled, Vichy Vineyard "Block 4", Merlot, Napa Valley $55. Kosher
Aromas of raisin-berry chutney and melted chocolate. Silky and spry on the palate with good vibrancy and a hint of roasted vegetables and spice on the dryish medium-to-full body. Finishes with a long, tangy, and elegantly balanced dissolve. A zesty, super table friendly offering. (tasted on Aug-09-2010)
91 • Sawyer Cellars 2006 Estate, Merlot, Rutherford, Napa Valley $39.
Aromas of roasted coffee beans, plum tart, and dark chocolate follow through on a round, silky entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body with very good depth, structure, and seamless balance. Finishes with a long tangy plum, blueberry, dusty mineral, and polished tannin fade. A lively and elegant styled merlot for sipping or paired with veal chops. (tasted on Jul-19-2010)
90 • Hagafen 2007 Estate Bottled, Merlot, Napa Valley $32. Kosher
Deep ruby black color. Aromas of plum pie and fresh meringue have a nice delicate spiciness. Round and supple with wonderfully balanced fruit and oak. Finishes with a savory root vegetable and chewy oak tannin flourish. A great table wine to serve with veal chops or short ribs. (tasted on Aug-09-2010)
89 • Maryhill 2007 Merlot, Columbia Valley $14.99. Best Buy.
Aromas of chocolate covered berries and peppery spices follow through on a round, supple entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium body with very good depth and balance. Finishes with a long, earth, cracked pepper, tart pomegranate and açai fade. A delicious well balanced sipper or table wine. (tasted on Jul-19-2010)
89 • Viansa 2006 Merlot, Sonoma County $28.
Aromas of chocolate covered berries and nuts have a hint of coffee and follow through on round, lively entry to a fruity-yet-dry medium body with spicy creme brulee, roasted pepper, and cedar notes on the crisp tannin finish. A fun sipper or table wine to pair with pasta and meat dishes. (tasted on Jul-19-2010)
89 • Elk Run 2008 Cold Friday Vineyard, Merlot, Maryland$22.50.
Deep ruby color. Ripe black raspberry jam, plum pie, pickling spice, and cedar aromas and flavors. Soft and supple with a dry-yet-fruity medium and nice hint of savory herb and root vegetables. Finishes with sweet spicy nuts, a touch of smoke, and soft tannins. (tasted on Aug-12-2010)
89 • Trecini Cellars 2007 Merlot, Russian River Valley $28.
Aromas of buttery, crusty blueberry pie a la mode and mirabelle plum jam follow through on round, silky entry to a fruity-yet-dry medium body with great subtle depth and poise. Finishes with a crisp, earthy wet cedar and soft tannin fade. A very nice sipper or pair with grilled pork tenderloins. (tasted on Jul-19-2010)
88 • Ledson 2007 Merlot, Russian River Valley $40.
Deep violet black color. Aromas of plum custard and tomato jam follow through to a dryish medium-to-full body. Finishes with a rich, chewy strawberry-rhubarb and cedary tannin fade. Nice complexity and depth. Serve with a very slight chill. (tasted on Aug-09-2010)
87 • Pend d'Oreille 2006 Merlot, Columbia Valley $21.
Bold aromas of strawberry-rhubarb pie, creamy custard, chocolate shake, and delicate baking spices follow through on a bright entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium body with good depth and tart cranberry and earth notes on the dusty tannin finish. Will be good with spicy Asian beef dishes. (tasted on Jul-19-2010)
86 • Bonterra 2007 Merlot, Mendocino County. Organically Grown Grapes-Certified Organic-Demeter Certified
Garnet color. Spicy hoisin, chocolate raisin and roasted beet aromas follow through with nice vibrancy and buoyancy. Finishes with plump, chewy tannins and mouthwatering acidity. An very nice sipper. (tasted on Aug-09-2010)
86 • Fetzer 2008 Merlot, California $8.99. Best Buy.
Dark ruby color. Aromas of cherries, plums and pencil shaving with solid ripe berry and citrus flavors. Finishes with a pleasing, tangy minerally kiss. (tasted on Aug-09-2010)
86 • Rotta Winery 2006 Merlot, Paso Robles $16.
Interesting aromas of spicy marionberry pie and chicken fat follow through on a round entry to a juicy, fruity medium body with cranberry-raspberry sauce and slate notes. Finishes with a bright tangy, citrus accented fade. A lively, fruity merlot to serve with fajitas. (tasted on Jul-19-2010)
85 • Backhouse 2005 Merlot, California $7. Best Buy.
Ruby color. Aromas and flavors of plums and black licorice with zesty citrus and spice notes on a medium body. Dark blackberry, prune, and tomato skin accents on the zippy tannin finish. (tasted on Aug-09-2010)
85 • Pedroncelli 2008 Bench Vineyards, Merlot, Dry Creek Valley $14.|Find-a-Wine|
Deep ruby color. Sweet boysenberry gelato and chocolate raspberry mousse aromas follow through on a round, silky entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium body with good depth and stony minerality. Finishes with a taut cedar bark, river stone, and chewy tannin fade. (tasted on Jul-19-2010)