Sunday, March 25, 2012

Updated Review: ***+ $$$ Napa Cellars Merlot, Napa Valley, CA - Wine Tasting & Review

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By way of background: Napa Cellars Napa Valley Merlot is an offering from Trinchero Family Estates, sourced from cooler Napa Valley CA vineyards from regions like Oak Knoll and Carneros.   The 2007 vintage is finished at 14.5% alcohol.

Original Tasting and Review, April, 2010:

In the glass: Napa Cellars Merlot shows as deep maroon in the glass.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, this
Napa Merlot shows a rich but structured nose of ripe plums and light mocha chocolate.

On the palate: The first elements on the palate are a creamy, sandy, almost thick mid-palate of spicy and muddled red berry fruit.  

And the wrap-up: The finish is held bright by the alcohol and brings notes of red cherry and dark cocoa.

In summary: Overall, a powerful merlot experience, rating three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, as I would definitely find my way back for a return visit.  It earns a star because it has the stuffing for decant or longer aging than the three years it has seen since vintage date.

Following a long decant, four days kept cool in partially-filled bottle:  The nose has become brighter with violet minerals.  Now on the palate, the sandy, dusty red fruit compote glides across your tongue.  Confirms the strengthening brought by long decanting  - likely age would prove equally beneficial.
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Updated review, almost two years later,   March, 2012:  More like deep mahogany in the glass.  Soft, very ripe plums on the nose.  Deep cola elements on the palate, lingering finish.  Ready to drink up now.

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