Ahhhh...it's autumn but it sure doesn't feel like it this week, it was sunny and 72 here today! In any case, warm or cool, it's time for Merlot and tonight I've opened a bottle of 2011 Reininger Walla Walla Valley Merlot, which was part of my recent wine club shipment! The one happens to be 100% Merlot from the Pepper Bridge Vineyard and just 387 cases produced.
The wine is a beautiful bright ruby color in the glass, with great clarity. The nose exhibits aromas of rich, dark, ripe fruit, blackberries, plum, currant over some earthy elements of oak and leather. The taste is quite nice, with a blast or ripe berries up front that transition nicely to some cherry cola and mocha notes midpalate. The tannins are wonderfully smooth and well integrated, leading to a long, lush finish that dares you to ask for more.
Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, with ample room to improve with some time in the cellar. In fact this one reminds me a lot of a nice Bordeaux, which could be put down for your kids to enjoy! Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a classic rare Angus T-bone, some home fries with onions and some steamed green beans (oh, the last of the fresh green beans!). The wine provides a lovely fruit forward complement to such a savory meal. Cheers!