On his trip back from the east, the monkey stopped at my house as well. As I have a deep interest in Italian wines, I was appreciative that he included me in his deliveries.
For this merlot, I prepared an Australian roast leg of lamb with a side of aglio-oglio pasta. I know some Italian wines pair well with gamey meats and this roast fit the bill. And what is an Italian wine without pasta?...
PnP and found the wine to be clear and cranberry colored. The initial aroma produced cherry, something vegetal and cedar. The initial tasting profile reveals a little cherry, possibly a little black olive and a finish of a little pomegranate. I always look for an acid finish (on swallowing) and this had none. So, pretty smooth but not a silky wine or one that coats the tongue. Also, quite dry.
As far as food pairing goes, this was a very nice match. Just as some chianti's, barbera's, etc. are table wine for Italian fare, this one would also fall into the table wine category, but for a merlot. Without knowing the price, I was guessing $13 - $15 (woot price).
SWMBO and I came back to this wine an hour later and did not find that it had changed any. This wine seems like one that should be drunk young. I don't think it will develop much more in the bottle. That being said, we found this to be an enjoyable wine that paired well with the meal. Seeing the price, I think it is fairly priced.