Decoy merlot vs. Purple malbec shootout

21 05 2014

This is the debut of the new Wineguider:  all comparison shootouts, all the time.

Today, we compare:

– Decoy, a 2012 merlot from California’s Sonoma County, $19 at Costco


– Purple, a 2011 malbec from France, $15 at the local wine shop.


Decoy:    None

Purple:    Like a forest after a rain shower, also cloves, cinnamon and plain old alcohol for good measure.


Decoy:   This wine is good.  That’s high praise from your Wineguider, but it’s not necessarily enough to earn a recommendation at $19 a bottle.  Decoy merlot is warm, friendly, and drinkable, but it’s very forgettable.  It has a standard “California red” taste to it, complete with soft oaky tannins, vanilla, red fruit, and a slight spicy kick.  The texture of this ultimately medium medium-bodied merlot is kind of boring – a little watery.  At $12, I would be all over it, raving like a lunatic.  At $19, it loses to:

Purple:  This wine is interesting.  The absence of sweetness means that it’s not a crowd pleaser, but Purple is just damn good.  Rhubarb.  Blackberry.  A hint of licorice.  On the heavier side of medium-bodied.  This wine BRINGS it.  Even if it were the same price as Decoy merlot, it would win.  Enjoy by itself, with cheese, with barbeque chicken or with steak – the 2011 Purple is definitely the Winner.







One response

21 05 2014

I like the new format. Let the games begin!

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