Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: **+ $ Gravelly Ford Merlot, California, 2009

Find prices and retail availability for bargain California merlot.

By way of background: California is an easy choice for merlot - everything from simple, clean and affordable to intense, complex and budget-busting.  This is one of the former.

Initial review : This is Gravelly Ford Merlot, California, 2009, finished at 12.5% alcohol, quite modest by California merlot standards. This is part of the Wine Insiders collection California Wine Club Selection, with review sample provided by Wine Insiders. 

In the glass:  Gravelly Ford Merlot is medium deep red with faint purple hues.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows smooth and fruity purple fruit.   From the aroma, seems like this will be sweet and pleasantly fruity, friendly but perhaps lacking some deeper character.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact soft and dry mid-red fruit on the mid palate. A touch of charcoal dust brings along the fruit for a finish that curls into your cheeks.

In summary: Overall, rates two stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its pleasant nature and just a hint of more complex darkness.

Following long decant, two days kept cool in partially-filled bottle:  Sweeter and softer purple fruit on the nose.  The charcoal dust settles into a more helpful role of knitting together the fruit.  From this, I would surmise that another year or two in bottle will help this line. 

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Find prices and retail availability for bargain California merlot.

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