Have you ever made it to the end of the day and felt like you've just been beaten up? That's how I feel today, after trying to get my house decorated for my upcoming Christmas party next weekend not to mention that I still have a lot of cleaning to do, particularly vacuuming spruce needles! Oh well, I'll get it done soon enough, but until then it seems only appropriate to open a nice bottle of wine at the end of the day, and tonight it's one of my favorite varietals from one of my favorite wineries, the 2010 L'Ecole No. 41 Seven Hills Estate Merlot, which is actually a blend of Merlot (78%), Cabernet Sauvignon (13%) and Cabernet Franc (9%).
The wine is a beautiful rich ruby color in the glass, with a nice dark indigo at the center. The nose is quite inviting, with aromas of black cherry, green cedar, and a hint of fresh herbs. The taste is a rush of ripe fruit, blackberry, cherry and a hint of candied plum, which transition smoothly to some earthy elements of tar, toasted oak and pepper midpalate. The finish is remarkably earthy, with integrated tannins supporting the long, smooth dry finish that leaves you wanting another sip.
Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8, as it's drinking very well now, but given it's from a strong vintage it will no doubt improve with some time in the cellar. Tonight I am enjoying this with a nice petite sirloin, grilled rare, along with a big baked potato and some grilled Brussels sprouts. A Merlot like this one is a sure bet to pair well with a nice steak house sort of dinner. Cheers!