Merlot is another one of many wines that I can 'take it' or 'leave it.' Not very high on my list of favorites. So, I very seldom have any on hand and very seldom search this wine out when wine shopping. This past year, I have tried a few from Long Island, where Merlot seems to be king, but was not impressed. I also have not, until now, found a Finger Lakes Merlot that pleased the palate. I usually bring home a few when on a wine tour or from the annual wine fest, but like many wines tasted on tours or events, they're just not what you thought they were when tasting weeks later at home.
At first the aromas were a little suspect. Lots of earthy soil, with some tobacco and a little red fruit. It took a little while, but soon there appeared some black currant and a little dark plum.
The first taste was also lacking any real depth in flavor and, at first, I just passed it off as just another so-so Merlot. But, this wine really started to open up after about 30 minutes of breathing. I found more fruit aromas like raspberry and plum with a little leather and much smoother in the mouth. The finish was very long and smooth, but a little heavy on tannins. The wine was still very pleasant and paired well with my small platter of hors d'oeuvres. Acutally was able to finish the bottle by the end of the game.
The price tag on this wine is a little overboard, but this is also one of the best, if not the best, Merlots I've tasted. I can't imagine me laying down a Merlot for a few years, but this is one I just may do that with.