Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: ***+ $ Cross Creek Winery Merlot, California, 2008 - (PRACTICALLY FREE, BEST VALUE)

Find prices and retail availability for bargain California merlot.

Original Tasting and Review, opening thoughts: This is a value-priced, "practically free" merlot with California designation.

By way of background: Cross Creek Winery Merlot, California, 2008 is finished at a very modest 12.5% alcohol.

In the glass: Shows as pale ruby red. 

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, this California merlot offers a rich and darkly fruity nose with elements of oak.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are light, but balanced, mid-palate cherry fruits and solid acids.  A slightly thicker layer of plum fruit comes in around the edges and into your cheeks.

In summary: Overall, enlivened, if simple experience. Rates two stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for reasonable character.  Good value at its very low price point.

Following long decant, one week kept cool under vacuum in partially-filled bottle:  The nose is sleek and fruitier now.  On the palate, an impressive balance has come together, making this medium red experience now three stars, and a best value with a bit of air time.
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Updated review, over a year later,  November, 2011:  Deep red with purple highlights.  Consistent nose, pretty generic with purple fruit.  Palate remains well integrated, reasonably robust and still quite friendly.  Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle: Consistent robust nose and full palate. And even longer decant, additional day kept cool in partially filled bottle: Soft nose hints of ink.  The palate brings on a distinct concentrated black ink element along with the purple fruit, adds a plus to its three stars for intrigue and depth. Great value.

Find prices and retail availability for bargain California merlot.

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