Varietal: Â 80% Merlot, 10% Petite Sirah, 6% Malbec, 4% Petite Verdot
Region: Â Paso Robles, CA – USA
Cost: Â $14
Winemaker’s Notes: Â Dark crimson in color, with cigar box aromas infused with generous sweet vanilla oak. Bold flavors of blackberries, cherries, currants, and spice complimented by sturdy tannins and balanced acidity, all leading to a rich, long finish.
My Review: Â Last night my wife was out with work friends, which meant that since it was a gorgeous day outside, I was determined to fire up the grill. A run across the street to my local The Fresh Market produced steak (a ribeye), a potato for baking, and a bottle of wine that I’d never tried before, but can promise to buy again.
In the glass the 2012 Paso Creek Merlot was a dark red, and on the nose I picked up cedar and tobacco notes. In the mouth the wine was dry, with flavors of dark cherry and leather with good balanced acid and enough tannins on the finish to get my attention without overwhelming me.
Paired with my steak (marinaded for three hours and perfectly grilled thank you very much), the wine was fantastic. The dry, cigar and leather notes were a perfect compliment to the juiciness of the steak, and even after the meat was gone, I enjoyed sipping on the wine from my couch, thanks to the wines nice balance right between medium and full-bodiness.
I picked this wine up on a whim, looking for something new to sip on, but I can promise you that I’ll be buying more of it. It’s a great wine at a fantastic price point – I’d easily guess $20-25 for the price if I’d tasted this blind.
Merlot was a grape that for many years I avoided, mostly because I’d had bad Merlot, but thanks to Virginia producing some great vintages of the grape, I’ve felt more confident trying it from other areas, and this was definitely a winner.
Grab this bottle if you see it on the shelf – you won’t be disappointed.