Happy Sunday! I think I may have mowed the lawn for the last time this season, particularly at the rate the leaves are now falling on it, but with the cool crispness in the air, it's finally feeling like Fall. Good thing it's national Merlot month! Perhaps the ideal wine for the autumn, a nicely structured Merlot, and tonight I've opened a bottle of 2013 Markham Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot that I picked up yesterday at Costco. So let's see what she has to offer!
The wine is an inky color at the center, with bright ruby along the edges. The nose presents aromas of leather, black cherry and pipe tobacco, just what you'd expect from a nice Merlot. The taste is quite nice, with a rush of ripe black fruit up front, with just a hint of sweetness. The fruit transitions to some lovely pepper spice notes midpalate, with a hint of dark chocolate and cherry. The tannins are still young, but nicely structured and well integrated, providing the base for the long, smooth and exceptionally dry finish.
Overall, I'd rate this wine a solid 8.5, as it's a lovely Merlot that's drinking quite nicely now, but could also improve with some time in the cellar. It was also a good value at just $18, particularly since it compares well with other Merlot selling for twice that. This is a great sipping wine, but would also pair well with a variety of dishes. Tonight I'm enjoying this wine with a rare prime ribcap steak, grilled leeks and broccoli rabe and a baked potato with sour cream and chives. A nice, smooth wine like this is perfect with a big steak. Cheers!