Wellington Merlot (Sonoma Valley) Vertical Tasting Notes - 2002, 2003 (Estate), 2004 (Estate)
All bottles open for 1 hour at room temperature.
Tartrate crystals on the cork.
Ruby to garnet with light but pleasant oaky smoke in the nose. Plum and fresh cut grass bouquet.
We noted moderate flavour intensity in an elegant style. Red cherry, raspberry, plum, and less so tobacco and spice. Slightly off-dry with low acidity. Medium complexity that is perfectly balanced. The finish is quick but solid with mild acids showing through.
We felt this wine would be paired well with an unimposing dish, perhaps seared beef tenderloin on a crostini. As a vegetarian option, we'd serve SB this with a goat-cheese stuffed and grilled portabello.
Nothing notable about the cork.
A ruby wine with pleasant aromas of earth, oaky smoke, and well balanced spice. We got tons of Marachino Cherry in the bouquet, which was one of those "ah-ha" moments where we were surprised but certain.
In an elegant style, the bountiful flavours showed red cherries, raisin, oak, and slight coffee and tobacco over terroir. We noted round, subtle tannins. A medium dry/sweet, we found middle of the road acids with a perfect complex balance. The finish lingered well.
The recommended food for this wine was agreed to be sharp cheeses. Perfect as a starter for your meat dishes.
There are heavy lees on the cork and in the neck.
A ruby wine with some interesting aromas - alcohol, smoke, earth, currant, mild anise, and asparagus. These changed over the course of the tasting, but were notable upon initial sampling.
Flavours start unoffensive and silky. Elegant wine that stains the glass a little more than what I'd expect from a Merlot. Dark fruit all over this one - blackberry, Cassis, blueberry, and plum, with oaky cedar complimented by a hint of chocolate tobacco. Very mild candied licorice in there as well. The initial reaction to the first taste was noted - "Lovely."
It's off-dry with firm medium acidity. Complex and medium bodied that integrated well with mild tannins to bring the balance around. A solid finish to this wine.
Noted that we felt this wine NEEDED food. Not a real stand alone drinker for us. Almost as if the wine WANTS to be there, but needs another year of rest to truly shine.
Food pairing was agreed as moderately spicy foods. Grills. Pizza.
I'm tempted not to post my scoring, since that's pretty subjective and, frankly, one of these wines ... ah screw it...
We gave the 2002 - 83 points.
2003 - 96 points.
2004 - 88 points.
No typo there. The 2003 was drinking perfectly. I'd be extremely disappointed if the 2004 wouldn't mature into this level for me. Don't ask how I score - I have a system and it's totally flawed. But it's mine..
Good juice SB - Thanks for reading.