Merryvale Reserve Merlot 2003 Napa Valley
Did you watch Sideways? And did you buy into the whole idea that Merlot is for “pedestrian” wine drinkers, and otherwise not worthy of your attention?
OK, then, move on … nothing to see here. (And more Merlot for me!)
For those who remain, following is my opinion of Merryvale Merlot Reserve 2003. Merryvale is a brand I’ve found to have a consistently strong price:value ratio — and once in a while deliver a knockout. This particular bottle is excellent, made from 85% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Petit Verdot grapes from four of Merryvale’s vineyards in Napa Valley.
Nose is fairly open, showing ripe, deep aromas of black berry fruit, sweet and bitter earth, mild hint of licorice. On the palate the texture is as smooth as glass, carrying ripe, luscious red and black raspberry, blueberry, a touch of mulberry, hint of vanilla, some sweet earth, black pepper, and the slightest bit of green bell pepper. In other words, very complex, and enjoyable. Both tannins and acidity are medium to medium high, and hold the fruit together well. Some alcohol is apparent on the finish, heating things up a bit, but not so much that it is overbearing. The finish is lengthy and enjoyable, with plenty of fruit giving way to ripe tannins after around a minute. Overall this is an excellent example of a ripe Napa Valley Merlot fruit, bordering on a jammy fruit bomb â€“ but staying just below that to be a polished, well balanced wine for enjoyment on its own or with food. Best with steak, roasted or grilled game, and fine cheeses. A kick ass wine that is hitting on all cylinders right now. Note that this is not the “Starmont” line â€“ which is also a good value â€“ but rather a “Reserve”, which is $10-15 more and more difficult to find, but well worth the search. Even at $39 this is a good value, and a fantastic choice for steak.
a-8 t-9 b-10 fc-9 v-8 ~ 94 Points