Appellation AmericaThe main source for this nifty Merlot is Bonterra’s flagship McNab Ranch, in southern central Mendocino County. Most Merlot would not enjoy the kind of 30-, 40-, and even 50-degree temperature swings this property gets every day, not just in summer but year-round. But then again, this site, biodynamically farmed for a decade now, is not like other sites. Most Merlot also doesn’t get 15% of its grapes from Syrah, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon, either, so we have to tip our hats to good blending. It’s safe to say that those darker, more tannic grapes gave this wine more backbone than it read more...would have had otherwise, but structure is not the point of Bonterra Merlot: it’s vivid flavors and sensual pleasure in the mouth. After all, among wine grapes Merlot is an entertainer, not a warrior. This wine entertains with red cherries laced with chocolate, nougat, toasted oak and baking spices -- even some white pepper at the finish. Before I unwrapped the bottle, I guessed in my notes that the wine came from “mature vines in a coolish location.” I was right about the vine age. You’ll have to take my word for it that the location is coolish -- for at least half of every day! (hide)
Wine SpectatorRating: 84/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator on 01/01/06.
Wine EnthusiastRating: 87/100 - As reviewed by Wine Enthusiast.