Monday, June 25, 2012

Updated Review: ***+ $ Blackstone Winemaker's Select Merlot, California, 2009 (BEST VALUE)

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Initial review, by way of background, March, 2011: This is Blackstone Winemaker's Select Merlot, California, 2009,  finished at 13.5% alcohol.  This ubiquitous offering also falls in our "practically free" and "take one for the team" categories. 

In the glass: Deep burgundy, almost opaque right in the middle. 

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows sweet, classic fruit with a touch of oak.  From the aroma, seems like this will be friendly, fairly classic, though simple.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact friendly, classic, but a touch better than simple.  In addition to the straightforward blackberry fruit on the mid-palate, there is a nice furry edge to the fruit, suggesting a bit of a tannin wrapping.  The creamy tannins carry the finish along with good length, and ultimately resolving perfectly clean.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for solid style and character.  Best value at its bargain price.

Following long decant, two days kept cool in partially filled bottle:   Similar nose, but hot with alcohol now.  The palate is breaking into pieces too.  Recommend drinking fresh from the bottle. 
Updated review, over a year later,  June, 2012:  Consistent color.  A little bit of sweaty, sweet deep fruit coming through too.  The tannins on the palate have withered, so drink this up at three to four years of age. 

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