Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: **** $ Quail Creek Merlot, 2003, North Coast, CA - BEST VALUE

Find prices and retail availability for bargain North Coast Merlot.  

Original Review, June, 2008: The Quail Creek Merlot, 2003, comprises grapes from multiple vineyards of the North Coast, CA, region. It is one of the long line of Bronco Wine Company wines.

In the glass, this merlot is medium deep red, transparent through the center. Aromas are bold for a merlot, pushing from the glass with fat berries and dusty oak overtones. On the palate, a peppery oak fruit is the first element I notice. The fruit and the acids balance nicely with the oak, framing an overall pleasant, harmonious tone.

Though not intense or layered, I find the wine quite satisfying. It just makes me think I might stay with it for an evening, generating four stars out of five. A couple more sips makes me doubt my tenacity, now moving to three stars with a plus for its balance and attractiveness. At its modest cost, even ***+ makes for a phenomenal value.

I note that the San Francisco Chronicle awarded Quail Creek Merlot, 2003, a singular place as Double Gold Best of Class in its 2006 wine judging.

Updated review, over three years later, now eight years from vintage date, July, 2011:  Color is even darker and more opaque, quite unusual.  Still fat red berries on the nose.  Full-bodied, spicy red fruit fills your palate, with a solid and clean tannin backbone bringing the sip to a full, long, clean close.  Easily hits the fourth star now, making this an even-more-crazy best value.  Following long decant, full day kept at cool room temperature in partially filled bottle:  The fat red berries almost seem over-the-hill now on the nose.  The palate also now has that "long-in-tooth" feel.  I definitely like the extra years in bottle on this, but skip the decanting.  Too much of a good thing. 

Find prices and retail availability for bargain North Coast Merlot.  

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