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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wine of the Week: 2008 WaterStone Napa Valley Merlot

"I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." ~ Henry David Thoreau

Nothing like a little Thoreau to get the creative juices flowing and reminding us all that, there are times in everyone's life where something good can from an unexpected source, and at times while in the pursuit of one's dreams. That said, it's time once more for another wine of the week feature. While there is not going to be any earth shattering revelations from an unexpected source, there certainly is going to be a very delightful wine in today's review spotlight I certainly didn't see coming. I've been sampled on previous vintages of this same wine, which I didn't think measured up to the kind of quality I look for in the wine of week feature.

That said, this wine, the Waterstone 2008 Napa Valley Merlot really deserves it so much more than few other wines I've sampled, mainly because the price point of $14 - $18 represents outstanding quality for such a reasonable price.  For many folks this is the kind of wine that you will want to purchase by the case. Trust me on this point folks; this won't stay around too long, it's not the type of wine that you can just walk into any wine-store haphazardly and expect it to just be waiting for your arrival. I'd say grab some now and grab it quickly [even with 900 plus cased produced], it will disappear fast.  I'm one the last folks writing a review about this wine, as many other wine writers also had many good things to say about this wines immediate appeal right out of the bottle. This wine requires no fuss, no muss, it's like the girl who looks great with or without make-up, a rare commodity [just saying]. 

So here's what is going on, as I see it, many others may disagree, but here we go. First, a majority of the grapes for this wine were grown in the Truchard Vineyard, Carneros [hello]. Second, according to the winemakers notes; "during bloom, temperatures soared and further damaged the potential crop, resulting in fewer clusters and smaller berries" in my opinion, a huge factor in helping develop this wines very tasty profile. And the last point is this; "The wine was aged in small French oak barrels with extended lees contact for twenty-one months" of which only 35% the barrel regiment was in new barrels. I believe all these elements came together to make an outstanding Merlot for the money. By the way; did I mention, I'm not particularly a big fan of California 100% Merlot? I tend to prefer Merlot from Washington state. If not, this fact should also enter into your consideration for my reasons to slobber so much praise on this Napa Valley Merlot.

This is the kind of wine you, which will marry easily with many different types of foods. It's also a great switch hitter, meaning it's wonderful on its own or with the Sunday evening dinner party. If you're looking for a pairing recommendation, I'd round up some pot roast, dial-up some mashed-potatoes, bourbon gravy from the drippings and fresh corn on the cob. But that's just me, by the way, it was a great match. In the glass you have a ruby colored core, on the nose, abundant ripe plums, vanilla, red vine licorice and floral notes swirling about, captivating me right away. After the first slurp, wow fresh baked cherry pie, cooling on Grandma's windowsill, home-made crust and all, from the first slurp to the last drop, seamless. Great acid, structure and mellow tannins holding it all together. I drank the whole bottle very easily; left me checking the empty bottle more than once to see if I had somehow missed a drop or two. Looking for the score, okay if you insist, I gave this wine a solid 90 points. There you have it, I hope you will give it swirl, until next time folks sip long and prosper!
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