Almost a year ago, I had the chance to visit Napa Valley for a weekend ahead of a business trip to San Francisco and one of the vineyards we visited on the Napa Valley Wine Train was Raymond. It was a very trippy winery, what with the wild colors and blow up dolls, but I really liked the wine. I haven't had a chance to enjoy it again until recently when I found that my local wine store carries their Merlot, so I picked up a bottle in honor of Merlot month and have opened it tonight.
The wine is a deep ruby along the edges with a darker, inky appearance at the center, just as you'd expect on a nice Merlot. The nose presents aromas of tart cherry, mulberry and a faint bit of mint. The taste is quite nice, with a rush of rich black fruit up front, cherry. plum and currant, that transition effortlessly to some black pepper spice and mineral notes midpalate. The tannins are firm, providing a nice foundation for the mocha and dark chocolate notes that swirl amid the smooth, and very dry finish.
Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, it's just a terrific example of the varietal and is such an easy drinking wine. It would pair well with a variety of hearty fall dishes, but today was a reprise of summer so I'm enjoying this one with a rare grilled prime petit filet mignon with grilled asparagus and a baked potato. Cheers!