2016 Casillero del Diablo Reserva Merlot

Image of 2016 Casillero del Diablo Reserva Merlot

Variety: 100% Merlot
Region: Central Valley, Chile
Cost: $11 (SRP)

Winemaker’s Notes: The color is deep red with great intensity. On the nose, the wine shows delicious hints of plums and herbs. This merlot reveals hints of chocolate and spice, while integrating perfectly with the toasted American oak. This wine is smooth with great structure. Pairs well with cheeses, meat, and pasta dishes.

My Review: A couple weeks ago I received a pair of wines to pair with tacos – the Chardonnay I reviewed last week, and this merlot. I paired the Chardonnay with fish tacos, but decided to go a different direction with the Merlot. So, what did I think of the wine, and how did the pairing go?

In the glass the wine was a garnet color that I really love in my red wines. On the nose I picked up aromas of dried herbs and a hint of spice. In the mouth the wine was surprisingly light and refreshing, making it a great summer red to pair with grilled meats. I picked up flavors of rose petals and spice with a nice smooth finish that made the wine very easy to sip on.

My wife and I paired the wine with burrata cheese atop sauteed cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and some pesto, all scooped atop some french baguette – a normal Saturday at the Perry house.

The soft flavors of the wine and the smooth finish were a great pairing with the burrata, but I can definitely see it going well with grilled meats (and yes, tacos).

While I’ll admit that I’m often wary of budget-Merlot, I’ve been having better experiences of late. What I did like about this wine is that being a sub-$15 wine, it wasn’t a fruit bomb, which makes it a good option heading into Memorial Day weekend if you’re looking for something that’s easy to find, accessible, and will go with just about anything you’re throwing on the grill.

Editor’s Note: I received this wine as a free sample for review.

About George Perry 834 Articles
A wine lover for as long as I can remember, I hope that my thoughts on wine can help others to make decisions on what they should drink as well.