Original tasting and review : This is Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Merlot, Lot 70, Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California, 2013, finished at 13.75% alcohol and first sampled two years from vintage date, in October, 2015.
Inspired by this wine: Shopping in the cherry tobacco shop, trying on a soft down coat and snacking on ripe red raspberries.
In the glass: Deep ruby and bold magenta.
On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows furry and bold black cherries, with light wet earth undertones. From the aroma, seems like this will be rich, layered with deep red berries.
On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact furry bright red fruit, showing plenty of fine, surrounding tannins, folding into the fruit and bringing a subtle, lengthy finish. Big, yet still elegant. Will be well served with decanting or additional bottle time.
In summary: Overall, rates an easy three plus stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, making this a very good value.
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