Sorry this is late, but I'm f'n tired.
Labrat Report: Pellegrini 2007 Cloverdale Ranch, Alexander Valley Merlot.
Dinner tonight will consist of two T-bones that are probably clocking in at 18oz, cause that’s how we do things in Nebraska. Seasoned with Salt, nothing else, we don’t disgrace perfection with other crap. We’ll be having a twice baked potato with it and that’s it. No vegetable because I started cooking late cause kids suck, and I wanna watch the Nebraska-Wisconsin game (I can’t believe we’re ahead 7-0, literally shocked; Jared Crick is looking like Suh Reincarnate). Currently the steaks are resting and I’m sniffing the wine.
Color This thing is a DEEP red all the way to the edge. (Suddenly, this game is looking like I thought it would).
Nose: Right out of the bottle, green pepper like crazy, I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be shocked to find some Cab Franc blended into this. Took the glass outside where the steaks were grilling and suddenly everything changed. I took a good whiff and all I could think of was Christmas. Couldn’t place what I was smelling, but that’s the thought it instantly evoked. Later I decided it was really juicy cherries and cranberries. Which made me want to make a compote of the two, which I’ve never done. Now that I’m back inside I’m back to a peppery kind of smell but more black than green. Pleasant, but I want Christmas back. Can’t wait to actually start eating the steak to see if I get that back.
Taste: Caveat, I’m not a fan of Merlot. I’ve had good ones, but by and large, it’s just not for me. Even the good ones I probably wouldn’t buy again. Ok, dinner is over. I think this Merlot is closed and needs to open up. It didn’t add much to the steaks (which were great). I’ll wait a bit and pour another glass. So far, I think it tastes like a Cab Franc.
Ok, so I cheated and went to the winery page and looked it up. 100% varietal Merlot, this is closed for sure. I’ll try again at halftime. Though again, I definitely got the cherry on the nose outside. Maybe there’s too much dog and baby in my house to overcome for the nose.
Alright, halftime is over; let’s see what we got, besides a mercy killing of the Huskers. (I’m not a fan so I’m kind of looking forward to going to work and listening to my coworkers.)
Taste 2: Action!. Yep, this woke up after about 45 minutes. Cherries, but not like Sangiovese(love). Medium tannins, lingering finish, pleasant. This really isn’t hot at all, which I was concerned with coming in at 14.5%. Well balanced wine, whoever made this knew what they were doing. At this point the glass is a foot and a half from me (can we just all agree to refer to this unit of measurement as a Ron Jeremy from now on?) and I can smell it. The nose knows and this one has come alive. That cherry that was so in my face while grilling is there, but not like it was. I think I’m gonna go outside and see if it comes back.
It did not. Definitely take a glass of this outside when you’re grilling your steaks.
Conclusion: This is a well-made wine, but it’s still a Merlot and not my thing. If you like Merlot, I suspect you’ll be VERY pleased with this wine. If you don’t like Merlot, this isn’t changing your mind. This will get added to the very short list of Merlots (Wellington, Madison) that I enjoyed, but not enough to go out of my way to acquire. If it comes with a few other wines that do interest me, I’d push the button. This is the kind of wine you can happily serve at a party knowing it is well made and will not disappoint (plus then, you don’t have to drink it yourself and you can make the obligatory OMGOMGOMGPONIESOMG PONIES!! Miles jokes). Based on this, I’m confident the other wines in this grouping will be well made and worth purchasing. I have half a bottle left; I’ll let you know how this works tomorrow.
Apparently, this is not this wine’s first go around here. Previous rat report here. Perhaps, slightly prescient, we shall see.
Random update: Just got done watching Wisconsin destroy Nebraska. I should move to Wisconsin. I like cheese, I like beer, I like sausage, and I’m fat. I’d fit right in. So anyway, there’s about three sips left in this glass. I haven’t touched it for oh, about 45 minutes, and IT’S ALIVE. This kind of morphed into a much better wine. Not sure where it came from, but this is now a WINE I enjoy, not just a Merlot that’s pretty good. I probably still wouldn’t buy it on its own though, but if I was asked to bring a Merlot, I wouldn’t hesitate to bring this.
Final update tonight: Somewhere, somehow this morphed into Cab light. Well played Pellegrini, well played. Looking forward to tomorrow lunch, this should go great with the pizza I’m making.
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
– George Bernard Shaw, author (1856-1950)