Wild Haven reserve vs. BV Napa merlot shootout

1 06 2014

Today we pit the 2010 Wild Haven reserve merlot from Horse Heaven Hills in Washington State ($13) against the BV Napa Valley 2011 merlot ($16).

Whew.  These merlots were not easy to taste.  Both had unripe green vegetable flavors.  Both tasted sour.  Both make you feel like you have been really sick for a few weeks and you’re just now Read the rest of this entry »

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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

vs.

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

Aroma Read the rest of this entry »





Chateau Carignan Prima merlot (Bordeaux) review

2 11 2013

Today we examine a 2010 Bordeaux that is 100% merlot.  I found it at Total Wine for $25.

Here we have a nice example of a French red – robust, yet restrained.  Delicious fruit, yet not sweet.  But is the price too high? Read the rest of this entry »





Santa Ema Reserve merlot review

25 09 2013

Today we look at a 2009 reserve merlot from Chile’s Maipo area, which I found at Total Wine for $14.

This wine is deep purple in the glass, and throws off aromas of caramel, honey, allspice and cloves.

It is 13,5% alcohol, comes in a heavy and stately bottle, and Read the rest of this entry »





Avalon merlot review: OH, SANDY

30 10 2012

Here’s a 2010 Napa Valley, CA merlot that costs around $12.

Tonight I had one of the best bottles of wine I’ve ever opened.  It was Avalon merlot.  A Napa Valley red that you can find at Total Wine for a mere $11.  Why was it so great?

I opened it during Read the rest of this entry »





Cono Sur merlot: MINI REVIEW

7 10 2012

Today it’s a 2010 merlot from Chile that costs around $10.

Cono Sur is impressive when you first open it — dark, rich, with an earthy, manly taste.  Blacker-than-black blackberries.  Smoky leather.  Plum and maybe a touch of prune.  Spicy and dry for a merlot — in fact, it almost seems like a juicy carmenere.

The problem is, for me, Cono Sur is a tad bitter.  A situation that did not improve on day 2.  I like this winery’s bicycle theme though, and I want the reserva now!  Unfortunately, this one is:

Not recommended.





Benziger merlot mini review

24 09 2012

Hi!  Today it’s a 2008 merlot from California’s Sonoma County.   I found it at Costco for $13.

Benziger Family Winery’s Sonoma County merlot uses grapes grown with sustainable farming methods.  And it tastes that way – Read the rest of this entry »