Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Updated Review: ****+ $ Hyatt Vineyards Merlot, Rattlesnake Hills, Washington, 2006 (BEST VALUE)

Find prices and retail availability for Hyatt Merlot.

By way of background: Barclay's Wine is a distributor best known for its packages of value-priced, and sometimes correspondingly excellent-valued wines.  Here we're trying a merlot from the young Rattlesnake Hills AVA of Washington State.

Initial review, May, 2011: This is Hyatt Vineyards Merlot, Rattlesnake Hills, Washington, 2006, finished at 13.9% alcohol.

In the glass: Hyatt Merlot is deep, muddy red, showing some brick at the edge.  This looks a wine which has seen some age - at five years, I suppose it has.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows deep and thick, extracted blackberry compote.  From the aroma, seems like this will be full-bodied, deep and resinous.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact sweet, rich and velvet black fruit in the mid-palate, gently perfumed.  A soft tannin lace shawl gently folds over the fruit, drawing out the finish to a delightfully lengthy point in the distance.  Acids are subdued.  Hyatt Rattlesnake Merlot is layered enough to enjoy on its own as an aperitif, or to pair with robust meals that would stand up to a solid cabernet sauvignon. 

In summary: Overall, intense, layered experience, rates four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  Awesome value indeed. Does not feel like it wants any more time in bottle, nor a particularly lengthy decant - though I will give these both a try...

Following long decant, four hours at room temperature in decanter:   Now blueberry pie plus blackberry compote on the nose.  A sweetness on the mid-palate is drawn out even longer with the decant, with no sacrifice to the other flavors.  Remarkable, but adds a plus to the four stars for this sweet fruit streak.  And even longer decant, several days kept cool in partially filled bottle: Even wetter berry compote on the nose.  Remains lengthy and sound on the palate, not a hint of tiredness.  Holds up remarkably well to air. 

Updated review, over a year later,  September, 2012:  Deep brick red.  Still a thick, aromatic nose of ripe blueberry, blackberry and menthol overtones.  The sip remains broad, intense, aromatic, thick, layered and lifted.  Still wonderful.  Even adds a plus for its powerful balance.  Crazy best value, now at six years of age.   One of the highest values I've ever discovered at this price point.

(c) Copyright 2011 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  (If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.)  

Find prices and retail availability for Hyatt Merlot.

No comments:

Post a Comment