Blackstone Sonoma Reserve merlot review

12 07 2010

Today we review an upgrade to an old favorite value, Blackstone merlot.  The Sonoma Reserve is $15-$17.

Before we begin: a “reserve” is supposed to be a winemaker’s really good stuff, from the days when each year’s best juice was kept off the market (reserved) for the vintner to enjoy.  The word can be abused.  For example, the regular, everyday Kendall Jackson chardonnay is called “Vintner’s Reserve.”  It’s their bottom-of-the-line.  So wait, it’s ALL reserve?  Hmm.

Blackstone is not playing these games.  I just tried their 2007 Sonoma Reserve merlot, and WOW.  (NOTE: previous years of the reserve were good, but not THIS good.)  This is a great example of a California merlot.  It’s big, but still medium-bodied, so it won’t overpower your food.  Spicy.  Super dark red — almost black (like the label).  A silky texture.  Juicy, but balanced by plenty of tannins.  Dry, with a bit of oak, but nothing excessive. 

It seemingly did nothing wrong, to the extreme.  At only $15, is this Merlot Perfection?  I’m leaning toward “yes”, but at any price under $20, this ’07 Sonoma Reserve merlot is an absolute, fall-on-your-face, flat-out “Best Value.”  

Blackstone Sonoma Reserve merlot review

Highly recommended.

UPDATE:  Yikes!  The 2009 isn’t so hot, at least this bottle on my kitchen table right now isn’t.  I will come back to reconfirm, but for now it looks like the 2007 was a gem.

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5 responses

23 12 2010
carmen

I can’t remember if they have the merlot, but World Market had the Cab (also normally around 19) on sale for 10 bucks. I kind of think they had the merlot for that price also….. The sale goes through dec 31, at least in so cal.

23 12 2010
wineguider

Are you sure they have the “reserve” cab for 10 bucks? I could see the plain Blackstone cab for $10, but the Reserve at this price would be a once-in-a-lifetime bonanza.
-Wineguider

24 12 2010
carmen

lol, yep. Actually, no. You made me go and check my receipt. The price is actually *8.99* because I bought 12 wines and they had a 10% discount on any 12.

I have no idea if they have any left, but it says on my receipt that the ‘original’ price is 19.99, and it’s definitely the dark label. I’ve had both.

Do you have a WM near you? you should really go while the sale is on.

24 12 2010
wineguider

Holy COW, Carmen, thank you for posting this! I’m on the east coast but I’m going to try to find a World Market around here QUICK. UnbeLIEVable price!!! Final question: was it the 2007 that you got?
-Wineguider

25 12 2010
carmen

yep, the 07…. good luck. I love World Market!

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