(From 2012 Vintage) Dark crimson in color, this 2012 Alexander Valley Merlot displays aromas of ripe Bergamot tea, mingled with the ripe Alexander Valley Merlot fruit characteristics that include cassis, black cherry and mocha. The palate exudes an enticing mix of blackberry, forest floor and dried herbs, while staying mildly concentrated and elegant. It finishes with a long finish of tea and dried herbs coupled with minerality.
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines13% Cabernet Sauvignon; 6% Syrah; 3% Cabernet Franc; 3% Petit Verdot. Here is an open and fairly direct wine that delivers suggestions of cherries along with a dollop of sweet oak, and its somewhat rounded and supple texture is very much the stuff of Merlot. It is low in tannin and very approachable now, and only a want of a bit more drive and intensity holds it back from one-star award.