Tonight it's a little cool here in west Michigan, so I've decided to open up a wine that's a bit more hearty for the unseasonable weather, the 2010 Blacksmith Merlot, a second label from Forgeron Cellars, one of my newer favorites from the Walla Walla Valley. Although I was just at the Forgeron tasting room last month, this was a bottle that I ordered and was delivered during the spring I think, so it's a little less exciting than you might think at first.
The wine itself is a deep purple color in the glass, and the nose is just a beautiful combination of ripe berries and cassis, leather, dried herbs and just the faintest hint of mint. The taste is just Merlot joy! I know it has a bad reputation thanks to that idiot movie, but for those of us who appreciate a nice Merlot, it can be such a pleasure to sip on a cold rainy night! This one has some very mellow fruit notes at the outset, some blackberry and plum, that transitions quickly to some really nice minerality midpalate, with flavors of dusty limestone and iron. The finish is quite nice with nicely structured tannins supporting a very dry, long finish, which is a bit surprising for such a young wine.
Overall I would rate this one a solid 8, as it's a very pleasant Merlot that's drinking quite nicely right now, and it's just a spectacular bargain at regular retail price of only $18! No wonder it's already sold out! Tonight I am pairing this with my usual unconventional flair, enjoying it with a potato crusted flounder filet, a backed potato with sour cream and chives, and a nice salad, sounds odd, but the hearty flavors really work well together. If you can find the Blacksmith label at your local retailer or wine bar, I highly recommend picking some up, in fact I'm now kicking myself for not ordering more when I had the chance!