Sunday, December 23, 2012

2009 White Cottage Ranch Napa Valley Merlot

'Tis the season!  Yes, it's Christmastime, and I've just finished the last of my holiday shopping, and now it's time to wrap presents and fill gift bags and make up the gift baskets that will all be delivered over the next few days, so what could I possibly do to make the season bright?  That's right, open a bottle of wine to help me get through the last few hours of hectic humbug!  And so to help out with that I've opened a bottle of 2009 White Cottage Ranch Napa Valley Merlot, one of the sadly ignored wine of the last few years!  This wine is from the Howell Mountain AVA of Napa Valley, produced on the eastern slope of Napa Valley at an elevation of 1,700 feet, near the town of Angwin, CA.

This wine has a nice deep ruby, almost purple color in the glass, and a consistency that makes it shine as a solid example of a good Napa Valley vintage.  The nose is filled with spices and rich ripe fruit, with notes of anise, tarragon and black pepper, balanced by sweet aromas of ripe plum, black currant and just the faintest hint of leather.  The taste is just superb, with rich, ripe fruit up front, laden with plums and ripe black cherries, giving way to some tart and spicy notes midpalate, easing into a finish with nicely balanced tannins creating a somewhat tight, yet smooth, long finish that seems to last a minute or more!

This is the kind of wine that makes you quickly forget that you are sipping wine, bringing forth a lifestyle of taste and grace that we seldom find today.  As for pairings, it would be just lovely with a variety of grilled meats, but amidst my giftwrapping wonderland, I've been enjoying this with a sharp Vermont cheddar and some lovely slices of baguette and it's been a gifted partner, helping me get through my chores!  Overall, I would rate this one a solid 8, and it was at a really reasonable price of just $14, and a recent wine club selection from my friends at G.B. Russo.  So if you have a chance, pick up a bottle, I'm just sad this is my last one!

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