Saturday, August 22, 2015

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: *** $$$ Vino Family Vineyards Vito Vino Merlot, Napa Valley, CA, 2004

Find prices and retail availability for mid-priced Napa Valley Merlot.

By way of background, opening thoughts: Merlot was a classic varietal in Napa Valley, CA, although clearly substantially reduced since being featured in the film "Sideways".  Some brave souls have re-entered the market, and Vino Family Vineyards is among those.  Let's see what their offering brings...

Inspired by this wine, August, 2015:  We're blowing bubbles in the yard and the kids are chasing everywhere - grandpa's sitting with his cigar in the shade.

Original tasting and review, July, 2011: This is Vino Family Vineyards Vito Vino Merlot, Napa Valley, CA, 2004, finished at 13.4% alcohol, quite tame by CA standards.

In the glass: Vito Vino Merlot is deep red brick in the glass. 

On the nose: Poured quite cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows shy but sturdy fruit with some plum and strawberry undertones.   From the aroma, seems like this will be balanced and flavorful in a medium-weight frame.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact quite bright and potent red fruit, with solid acidity, yet with a soft underlying tannin structure.  That structure comes through as some background dust, along with a slow-release of red berry fruit into a long and lingering finish.  The finish seems to come forth from all quarters of your mouth.   

In summary: Overall, rates a solid three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  I'll be interested to see if decanting improves the "knitting" on Vito Vino Merlot.  I have some hopes... Following long decant, six hours in decanter at cool room temperature:  Nose has similar tones, but even more shy still.  The palate does show a slightly better knit, with bright, somewhat acidic fruit continuing to drive the experience.
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Updated review, over a year later,  August, 2012:  Still deep brick red in color, though the nose has picked up some oxidation via broccoli overtones.  Clean, simple, easy-going sip, but it is showing its age.  Drink well before its 8th year.  
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Updated review, another year later,  October, 2013: Same color.  This bottle is not carrying the oxidized broccoli aromas,  but some slight funk. Soft and clean sip, but fairly generic red.

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Find prices and retail availability for mid-priced Napa Valley Merlot.

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