Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Frick Winery “CAFÉ” Merlot, 2003 $10

Sonoma, CA

Even if you blind tasted this wine, you’d probably never guess it was a Merlot. I guess that’s a pretty bold statement for those of you who are pros at determining the wine's varietals (grapes) from just a taste. Is it still lingering from the days of the movie “Sideways” that Merlot has a bad reputation? I would hope not however, who am I to control that except to say that this $10 bottle was absolutely a wonderful surprise. More Merlot for all!

With a dark, deep purple color, the aromas were full of licorice, smoke and dried dark berries. Subtle hints of cocoa and spice rounded out the nose and completely fooled me in believing this was a Merlot. I’m not an expert on determining a wine’s varietal from the smell but it’s safe to say I had not experienced these aromas in other Merlot wines.

The flavors were full of bright fruit; blueberries, blackberries and medium oak. Soft tannins and easy drinking left my pallet with a smooth, velvety finish.

I was told that the wine maker, Bill Frick had this in his oak barrels a little longer than normal, waiting to decide on what to do with the wine. In guessing, it must have been a choice between selling the wine, possibly for blending or bottling it. Good thing he chose to bottle it.

I’ve never had a Merlot like this and if its any sign of other wines Frick is making, I’ll be sure to search out others. I do know they take great care in their wine making from information posted on their website. Small batches and time tested techniques are their claim. You can visit them at www.frickwinery.com

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