Folie a Deux Merlot 2007

2007 Folie a Deux Merlot from California's Napa Valley

Varietal: Merlot (89% Merlot; 11% Cabernet Sauvignon)
Region: California – Napa Valley – USA
Cost: $21

Deep ruby red in color with aromas of blueberry, cassis, and cocoa.  Berry fruit, tobacco, dark chocolate, and refined new oak all mix in the mouth.  Pairs well with beef, lamb, BBQ, roasted chicken, pasta, and grilled vegetables.

Recommendations: I’ve never tried to hide my apprehension about Merlot.  I’ve had bad ones in the past that had put a bad taste in my mouth (no pun intended), but had recently decided to give it a second go, partly due to some impressive Merlots coming out of Virginia.  With that in mind, I opened the Folie a Deux for a dinner of pasta and red sauce.

I was instantly impressed with the deep ruby/garnet coloring of the wine, and I managed to pick up some white pepper and berry on the nose.  Dark chocolate and oak were most prevalent for me in the mouth, which was a fine pairing with the dinner I’d prepared.  Tannins on the finish can certainly be attributed to the big of Cabernet Sauvignon added to the wine, but it was a fairly lush, full-bodied wine – what I’d been reading about Merlot but had yet to really experienced from a California bottle.

Now, all that being said, I have a big complaint with this wine – 14.5%/vol alcohol is just too much for any wine.  I know that I’ve complained before about the seeming race to see which vineyard can create the wine with the highest alcohol content that people will still drink, but it has to stop.  I was barely able to get any aromas or flavors, and only those that were bold because of the aroma and flavor of alcohol that permeated this wine.

While the wine was fine with my meal, the sauce helped to cut the alcohol, by itself I found it less pleasurable.  I did appreciate the full-bodied nature of the wine, and I think that with a bit less alcohol it would be a truly spectacular wine.  That being said, unless you really like the taste of alcohol I have a hard time recommending this wine.

Special thanks to the International Wine of the Month Club for supplying the wine for this review.

About George Perry 831 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.

4 Comments

  1. first i’ll apologize for the fromat, i’m in a hurry today,re: this wine and the malbec. you write a tight reivew, that’s why i would like to see you bump it up a bit.
    First Folie a Deaux is avilable everywhere (granted not the merlot – but the the rest of their factory wines are all over) and the malbec should retail for about $12.00 in the rest of the country (but perhaps not in VA.) Wine clubs are neat but if this one is sending this stuff – even for free, you need to get a differnt club.
    Second – As I mentioned earlier YOU NEED TO CALIBRATE YOUR PALETTE. You are shy about Merlots so I looked at the Merlots you have reviewed and I can understand why. Drink some Bordeaux from the right bank or Merlot based left bank wines – there are plenty of them. This is the heart of the Merlot grape. Drink these and then you will have perpective – you still may not like them but you’ll have perspective.
    If your regular wine shop does not carry a selection of Bordeaux – I’m sure there is one in your area that does

    • Thanks for the comments. Whenever anybody sends me a sample I try to list the price that they’re selling it at. Just as when I buy a bottle I list what I paid for it – you might be able to find it for less, but you also might find it for more. As for the Folie a Deux – like I said in the review, I’m warming to Merlot. I’d had bad experiences with it in the past, mostly due to some admittedly bad merlot. My biggest complaint was the high alcohol content. I had visited their tasting room in California last October and very much enjoyed what I tasted there, but this Merlot just overwhelmed me with its high alcohol content.

      I’m getting into Bordeaux more and more, mostly because the owner of my local wine shop is a big fan of it and is getting me into it. Thanks again for the comments and I always appreciate a new perspective on one my reviews.

  2. Drink Va and CA Merlots and having problems with Higher alcohol? DUH! Long, warm growing season, super ripe grapes, Bingo! All the more reason to drink Bordeaux (12-12.5)

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