Sunday, October 13, 2013

Review: ***+ $$ Kelley Creek Merlot, Winemaker's Reserve, 2005, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, CA = GOOD VALUE

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By way of background:  Kelley Creek Merlot, Winemaker's Reserve, 2005, is from the Schneider Vineyard of Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, CA. The Kelley Creek line, in fact, was created from an abundant harvest in 2005, which resulted in grapes becoming available from the vineyards of Sonoma County grape growers, Barbara and Dick Schneider. Kelley Creek is a tributary that runs through the Schneider's property in Western Dry Creek Valley into Dry Creek.

Original Review, June, 2009:

In the glass, Kelley Creek Merlot, Winemaker's Reserve, shows as medium dusty red. Aromas are modest and of deep fruit - a bit of alcohol "twang", showing the 14.6 percent alcohol level.

Your first sip is even and balanced - almost regal in its conservative yet lively nature. There is a solid, fur-encrusted dark cherry flavor, perhaps a touch of cocoa. It resolves to a lengthy, quite pure, mellow finish with a touch of sweet acid. Not much tannin grit, but a solid, full-bodied offering.

Not quite the power to wow me with four stars, but I will add a plus to its three stars for its true class.

Updated review, about two and a half years later,  January, 2012:  Consistent medium red color.  Soft fruit, hints of vegetable stew and licorice indicating age.  Touch of broccoli now on the palate too, surrounding the abundant fruit.  Don't store this one any longer. 

Another updated review, about a year and a half later, now eight years from vintage date, October, 2013:  Consistent color.  Fruit is now clean, not showing the "stew" from the bottle sampled last year.  Much closer to the original tasting notes, with cherry cola and a hint of cocoa.  Solid performer - and this bottle has held up very well. Good value.

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