Saturday, July 4, 2015

2005 Saddleback Cellars Napa Valley Merlot

TWell, it's the first Saturday of the month, so you know what that means, it's Cellar Saturday!  And not only that, it's also the 4th of July which makes opening up a well matured wine even more fun!  Tonight I've opened up a bottle of 2005 Saddleback Cellars Napa Valley Merlot, one that I've been looking forward to, as a nice quality Merlot tends to hit its stride at about the 10-year mark.  Keep in mind I've let this one breathe a bit, but I didn't decant it, so we'll see how it goes!

The color in the glass is a nice garnet with very nice clarity despite its maturity.  The nose is a lovely combination of ripe berries, red plum and macerated cherries, overlaid with a bit of leather and moss, reminiscent of some wonderful French Bordeaux.  The taste is a rush of ripe fruit up front, raspberries, blackberries and plum that transitions flawlessly to some flavors of cherry cola and mocha midpalate.  The finish is just lovely, with silky tannins and mild oak on the long, smooth and exceptionally dry finish.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, as I love Merlot and this is a prime example of an expertly produced bottle that highlights the varietal.  Although this would be an ideal wine for a juicy porterhouse, tonight is the 4th of July!  How could I enjoy this with anything other than barbecued ribs, grilled corn on the cob, creamy cucumber salad and a nice grape tomato caprese salad!  The wine has such great flavors it really complements the variety of great tastes we get on holidays like these.  Cheers!

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