PICKS : MERLOT
|TIP: Merlot provides a nice alternative to wine
looking for a more approachable, fruitier and softer red wine.
||63°F / 17°C
Ideal serving temperature
CHATEAU ST. JEAN MERLOT
Sonoma County 2001 ($25): goes for
complexity and gets it, with cola, cherry, blueberry, blackberry and red
clay flavors layered into a mouth-pleasing texture; spreads across your
palate, then refocuses at the finish.
California 2003 ($8): Plump aromas and flavors of black
and red plums, with red cherry notes and an earthy under-layer; nice balance,
fine tannins and a bright, refreshing finish all make this wine taste like
it costs a lot more.
Spring Mountain 2002 ($51): mountain-grown Merlot is
a different animal and here’s proof: plush black cherry and blueberry
flavors stand up to big oak and high alcohol, so decant well before
savoring the warm finish and raw silk texture.
Central Coast Vintners Collection 2002 ($13): this
wine shows the bright, juicy side of Merlot, with a touch of coffee in
the aromas, plenty of red cherry and plum flavors, good acidity in the
mid-palate and sweet length.
In Napa Valley
Tasting at EHLER'S ESTATE WINERY, is like tasting used to always be in
the Napa Valley: friendly, conversational, and non-commercial. I almost
hate to tell people about it. Situated north of St. Helena, the 1886 stone
winery overlooks 42 acres of vineyards. There is a lovely 100-year-old
olive grove on the property that shades the bocce court, and an outstanding
elevated picnic deck.