Well 2014 is rapidly drawing to a close, so why not go out with a bang, or at least a few nice bottles of wine! Having just returned from the gym and feeling mighty fine about myself, I've decided to open a bottle of 2012 Shadowood Napa Valley Reserve red wine that I got about a week or so ago from Wines Till Sold Out. This wine is a blend that's heavy on Merlot (94%) with a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon (5%) and just a touch of Malbec (1%) to round it out.
The wine is a deep, dark ruby color in the glass which combined with the nose makes you immediately think of a high-quality Merlot. The nose is a lovely combination of dark fruit, blackberry, cassis and plum with a lovely layer of leather and toasted oak. The taste is such a treat, with blast of great fruit up front that remains crisp, not syrupy which transitions nicely to some vanilla and mocha flavors midpalate. The finish is quite nice, with lovely rounded tannins supporting a long, supple and exceptionally dry finish, just as you might expect from a nice quality Merlot.
Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, as it's a solid wine from a great vintage at an incredible value of just $13! You know as I was sipping this wine earlier, I got to thinking how much press has been devoted to the spectacular 2012 Napa Valley vintage, and I have to admit that for Cabernets, I haven't been impressed with the 2012 Napa vintage, but every Merlot I've tried from the same vintage has been phenomenal! As for pairing, I know everyone says to drink this with charred meat or some such thing, which I'm not opposed to by any mean, but tonight I'm in the mood for some comfort food, so I'm enjoying this wine with some lovely baked truffle mac & cheese made with a recipe I found on Epicurious (see this Mac & Cheese Recipe Link, though I added about 2 tbs of white truffle oil to the recipe). The dark fruit and dryness of this wine is perfect with the richness of the truffle mac & cheese! Cheers!