Happy Saturday! And of course since this is the first Saturday of July, it's Cellar Saturday! At day where I raid the stash to find a bottle that's been maturing for at least a decade or more, and tonight it's the 2006 Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Merlot. You know I like my Merlot, and the folks in Napa can produce some nice ones, particularly some small production ones like this one. So let's see what she has to offer!
The wine has an inky black color at the center leading to some bright ruby along the edges. The nose presents aromas of blackberry, prune, leather and toasted oak that seem a bit old world. The taste is much less fruit forward than I was expecting, with a bit of cassis and black licorice up front that transition nicely to some notes of dark chocolate and mineral notes midpalate. The finish is smooth and velvety as the tannins are mature and subdued leading to a bit of that old world Bordeaux style funk on the smooth, exceptionally dry finish.
Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8, it's a very nice Merlot that's certainly matured very well. This wine would be ideal for hearty meals, steaks, braised short ribs or a hearty Italian dinner with lots of red sauce. Tonight I've gone simple with a grilled prime sirloin from Costco, baked potato and some grilled Brussels sprouts. This one will be a pleasure to sip on the patio tonight, cheers!