Thursday, May 8, 2014

Review: **** $$$ Havens Reserve Merlot, Carneros, California, 2003

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Havens Reserve Merlot.

Original tasting and review : This is Havens Reserve Merlot, Carneros, California, 2003, finished at 14.5% alcohol, and first sampled a whopping 11 years from vintage date.

In the glass: Deep red with hint of bricks.

On the nose: Poured at cool room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows full, deep, languid and brooding fruit.  Layered with soft oak and rich essence of plum.  From the aroma, seems like this will be intense, layered and memorable.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact big, bold signals of sweet tobacco red and black fruit, showing plenty of crisp tannins around the perimeter, with tiny hints of graphite.  The balanced sip lifts briefly into your cheeks, but settles - more with tannins than acids - for a long time, slowly releasing memories for a full minute.  Solid maturity, but certainly not age, shows through.

In summary: Overall, rates a full four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, making this a powerful best value at its release price point 10 years ago (but you will pay a multiple of that now), still strutting its stuff more than a decade from its harvesting.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Havens Reserve Merlot.

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