It is truly an honor to receive the golden ticket. I'm sad to say that I’m not fond of Merlot.
That being said let me say this is one of the OK Merlot’s I’ve tasted. I popped the cork poured it into the decanter and then poured from the decanter into my glass (just a few sips). On first glance it is an Alcohol forward wine. I sniffed, tasted, and swallowed. On the initial taste there was none. That’s right, no taste going in, then the alcohol, then black cherry, then sherry, then currant, then alcohol, with hints of red apple (skin mostly) throughout, and some tannins & alcohol on the close.
15 minutes later: Not much change except the alcohol has tamed a bit
1 hour: A little more flavor and almost creamy, possibly a hint of metallic at the onset, a bit sweet on the mid pallet, and still an alcohol finish, tannins wishy washy throughout.
1.5 hours: Tasted with a dinner of Gouda cheese and crackers, Grilled hamburgers, and orzo rice pilaf. Still not much flavor forward, but it opened up a bit in the mid pallet and made it through alright. Fruit was more pronounced and ‘sweeter’ throughout
Rebottled the last 1.5 or so glasses and will check it out again tomorrow night
I think this should sit in the bottle until winter or longer(maybe the alcohol will calm down by then) and then pair with Cheese & crackers and/or apples as it’s definitely an appetizer & hors d'oeuvre wine
My over all opinion: This one has too much alcohol taste for me; it’s weak on its approach and leaves me wanting more depth and definition. But that’s me and I didn’t start out a merlot fan
I'm sorry I couldn't be more positive the first time out as a rat. It's only my opinion, hopefully the other 2 rats are more into merlot
UPDATED 29MAY09 @ 5:12 pm Eastern Time
Lab Rat report update: Day 2
Well I just pulled the merlot out of the ‘fridge and poured it into my glass
W O W what a difference. I realize it’s only about 42-45 degrees but there’s no alcohol taste, the flavors are smooth and mellow. What comes through is black cherry, very slight currant and a twinge of red apple skin. Tannins are minor, mellow, and smooth throughout. This is not a big wine but it comes alive with the lower temp. I may even be in for one (or 2 or 3) for a cold summer refresher sort of drink. Cold, you can drink this as a stand alone. I’m impressed.
Disregard my comments (above) from yesterday