Thursday, September 19, 2013

Updated Review: *** $$ Warnke Cellars Merlot, 2005, Napa Valley, CA

Find Warnke Cellars Merlot at WineZap.

Original Review, April, 2009: Warnke Cellars Merlot is one of two special bottlings made by Gary Vaynerchuk under this label (the other was a 2004 cabernet sauvignon). Made primarily of Napa Valley merlot grapes, there are a small percentage of cabernet sauvignon included in the blend.

In the glass, this is light to medium brick red. Thick, fruity aroma - not dramatic and bold, but softer cherry with earth overtone. On the palate, a fairly balanced, lightly round, lightly acidic blend - good overall mouth feel, light red cherry in style, lacking distinction and concentration. Light pepper notes. Feels like a potentially wonderful, complex wine, but diluted. Food wine, not a sipper. I'd love to see these same grapes harvested at lower yield per vine.

The lightness of body suggests it is ready to drink up now, but I will give it a bit of decant time to see if air brings more robustness. If so, that might suggest value of another year or two in bottle. Right now, two stars out of five.
ps, two hour decant made little difference.

Updated review, about a year later, March, 2010:  Color is consistent.  Aroma, however, has beefed up - now bold and inky.  On the palate, now a rich, layered, more concentrated attack, bringing red cherries, some dark chocolate and oak.   Solid three star offering now - I'd come back!

And another updated review, three and a half years later, now eight years from vintage date, September, 2013: Same color.  Soft, solid nose.  Easy going wine on the palate, soft layers, red and black berry combo. Ready to drink up.

Find Warnke Cellars Merlot at WineZap.

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