By way of background, opening thoughts: Ravenswood of Sonoma is almost synonymous with zinfandel. But today we'll sample a merlot; not any Ravenswood merlot, but one that has been cellared til it is now over a decade from its vintage date!
Original tasting and review : This is Ravenswood Merlot, Sonoma County, California, 2002, finished at 14.% alcohol.
In the glass: Deep dark mahogany, showing brick at the very edge, but opaque from about a quarter inch in.
On the nose: Poured cool and swirled vigorously, shows deep prunes and black cherry. From the aroma, seems like this will be thick, still rich and fruity.
On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact sweet but sleek black cherry, with still-bright acids along with the fully-tamed tannins. The age brings maturity, but not senility. There is still liveliness and spry. The finish slowly spreads up into your cheeks, bringing a surprisingly little acid "bite" a full minute after you think the sip has finished.
In summary: Overall, rates three stars with a great big plus for size and longevity on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale. Good value. And remarkable ager!
Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Ravenswood Merlot.
(c) Copyright 2011 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved. If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review. No charge. Particulars are here. If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.