Distractions, Diversions, Books, Wines, Whiskeys and Other Stuff To Think About When You Should Be Doing Something Else.

Vino Veritas: Merryvale 1999 Merlot – Beckstoffer Las Amigas Vineyard

Merryvale Merlot – Beckstoffer Las Amigas Vineyard

1999 Carneros, Napa Valley, California

A ‘from the cellar’ edition of Vino Veritas, this 100% Merlot was bottled, unfiltered, in August of 2001 and released in June of 2002. Merryvale has been buying grapes from the world-class Beckstoffer Vineyards since 1992 and continues in partnership with them to produce great single vineyard offerings. The grapes from the Las Amigas vineyard can be found in bottles representing a who’s-who of California wine excellence.

While I will most often save a good bottle of wine for about five years past the vintage year, ten years past the vintage year is usually the upper limit I put on a typical bottle of red, unless I’m sure it will last longer without supervision. With that in mind this Merryvale Merlot is due for an evaluation.

Tasting Notes:

Color:  Garnet red starting to show signs of brickishness. (A good sign the wine is showing its age.)

Nose:  Light, dry and earthy.

Taste:  Medium to light bodied with raisiny fruit. Earthy and woody flavors dominate but still maintains a nice long and balanced finish.

I’m afraid this wine is close to, or has already, hit its peak and is on the downward swing. It is still good but I would guess it will deteriorate fairly quickly so don’t hold on to it for too much longer. In fact, use it to celebrate a Tuesday night sometime in the next month or two. It will go well with veal parmesan (or stuffed mushrooms if you are into fungus) and a bit of candlelight, or a porch swing and one of those cool spring evenings before the mosquitoes arrive.


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