St. Supery 2000 Napa Valley Merlot ($24.00)
Never mind what the twitchy guy in Sideways said with his trash-talk about Merlot, this is one fine example of the grape. Very dark garnet in color, it breathes fresh aromas of black plums and bing cherries with back notes of dark chocolate and a pleasantly earthy whiff of leather. Fruit-forward flavors follow the nose, so luscious that the first impression is soft and plushy, but mouth-watering acidity and smooth tannins quickly fill in, building a wine of serious structure and balance. Very fine Merlot, holding up well five years after the vintage, and still capable of further development under good cellar conditions. US Importer: (Jul 24, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with red meat or roasted or grilled poultry; it was particularly enjoyable with a selection of cheeses from the recent American Cheese Society convention here.



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