Woodward Canyon Merlot 2015, Nelms Road, Walla Walla Valley
The very warm 2015 vintage gave beautifully ripe yet balanced fruit with deep flavors of black cherry, herb and baking spice. Complex aromas of roasted meat, black olive and tobacco integrate, leading to a soft generous finish. The wine is dark purple in color and though it was bottled early to retain fruit, is quite enjoyable now. This merlot will improve substantially with additional time in bottle and with proper storage should age well for five years or more.
Gaja Ca’ Marcanda Promis 2015$66.00
The proprietary name Promis (pronounced proh-MEESS) was created by the Gaja family to denote commitment, expectation, fulfillment, and hope. The promise of quality and the reward of diligence and excellence. The grapes are grown in the terre brune (rich, dark soils) which consist primarily of loam and clay. The 2015 was a fulfilling vintage. Embracing, structured, voluptuous, and lively. The climate – hot summer days, freshened by brisk sea air and cool nights – is ideal for the grapes grown here. Promis offers the elegance and suppleness of Merlot and Syrah, complemented by the vibrant structure of Sangiovese, Tuscany’s emblematic grape. This wine drinks well at an early age. The 2015 Promis opens with floral aromas of wild rose and violet, then it turns into a more earthy bouquet with hints of maritime pine, eucalyptus, roots, wet stones. The palate is fresh and juicy, with notes of red and black fruits – raspberry, wild strawberry and mulberry. Creamy, smooth tannins. The final is sapid with a peculiar smoky and spicy character. With its notes of rosemary, wild fennel, embers, the 2015 Promis perfectly mirrors the Mediterranean scrubland which surrounds it. 55% Merlot, 35% Syrah, 10% Sangiovese So delicious!
Duckhorn Decoy Red Wine 2016, Sonoma County$28.00
Since the inaugural vintage of the Decoy Napa Valley Red Wine more than a quarter century ago, Decoy has taken an important place in the Duckhorn Wine Company family of wines. With a reputation for delivering great quality at a remarkable price, Decoy has established a loyal following for its distinctive style, which emphasizes ready-upon-release wines that are capable of expressing their full charm and complexity in their youth. After several years of working with its sought-after grapes, they acquire the renowned Ridgeline Vineyard in the Alexander Valley appellation—Sonoma County’s best region for growing Bordeaux varietals. Located on Oak Mountain, Ridgeline Vineyard is a steep mountainside vineyard with elevations ranging from 100 to nearly 2,000 feet.
The core blend for this appealing Decoy Red Wine 2016 pairs the elegance of Merlot with the complexity of Cabernet Sauvignon. Reflecting the character of each growing season and the diversity of our vineyard sources, Decoy has established itself as a wine of distinction. Rich and concentrated, this wine reveals voluptuous layers of blueberry, cassis and dark chocolate. On the palate, hints of salted caramel and exotic spices add depth and complexity to the fresh fruit flavors, while carrying the wine to a long and silky finish. 51% Merlot, 23% Zinfandel, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petite Sirah, 2% Petit Verdot.
Sineann Merlot 2014, Champoux Vineyard, Columbia Valley, WA$44.00
Champoux — what else do you need to know? From the top-notch vineyard site comes this intense Merlot that is dark and powerful, complex and voluptuous. Dark, rich – to the point of voluptuous – powerful. This is what Merlot can be. Huge black cherry nose with graham, toast, and a hint of smoke. Sweet black cherry/plum flavors, accented by touches of plum liqueur, Chambord, toast, smoke, and pepper. Tannins are present, with a very slight grip. The finish, surprisingly for such a huge wine, has good acidity to balance the gobs of fruit. Sineann’s style is dark, aromatic with chocolate overtones and complex, silky tannins. A big, plush juicy wine. Paul Gregutt, Seattle Times, says: “…wraps its super-ripe cherry/berry fruit in rich layers of coffee, toffee and smoke.”