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A Merlot I like – Monday September 25th, 2006

July 26, 2008

As the Ruthven Apple Fest is quickly approaching I felt it was time to try a wine made basically across the street from the festival grounds. This would be from Mastronardi Estate Winery.


I am really getting into the full sensory thing so let me set the table. I had a glass or 2 with dinner and then now after. Dinner was artisinal prociutto(local, from a wonderful butcher), goat cheese and French bread. Music was Lee Morgan, Candy, a veritable classic. After dinner music is Bill Evans, The Unknown Sessions on a Japanese pressing so I can't say much about it other than its great because the writing is in Japanese. All vinyl cos I want the wine to taste good.


I went to the winery just after it opened and let this bottle settle for a while as I thought it had promise when I tasted it. It's the 2002 Merlot. Now merlot isn't my favorite grape but I try not to prejudge a wine, just enjoy it.


Prior to aerating, this wine tasted very Essex County, good but I felt not worth the price. After I put it thru my aeration funnel it was transformed. Now, you all know how I feel about aeration and these devices, but I can't stress how much a difference they make. Like another wine I had last week(review to come), the texture totally changed. It went from ok to nice and round. Probably not the right term but that is how it felt on my tongue. It is amazing how the texture changed. It became fluffy and that's good.


For the people who worry about legs, this one has it  and yes my glass was/is clean. A deep claret color and it has a wonderful aroma. It's really clean and fresh so I assume they took care at harvesting. I find none of the telltale odor of twigs that I feel kill a wine.


Now for the taste. It is very good. It tastes of the fruit it was made of. I really don't get into the usual terms as I like Riesling and the thought of looking for a petrol taste rather bothers me. Let me tell you what it isn't. it isn't harsh, no nasty aftertaste. I find the taste rather subdued. Now that is nice. I am really enjoying this wine. and isn't that the point. I am having trouble describing the taste other than I really like it and its mellow, like the music. I wouldn't like this wine if I was listening to Kid Rock but then again I find no redeeming value in Kid Rock and I feel that his fans drink Bud rather than wine anyway.


The wine went so well with the goat cheese, but it too was mellow. Partner this with a nice roast, but not too spiced, maybe turned on a spit. It would be wonderful. I would avoid game meat but roast fowl would be really nice with this.


I really like this wine. the only fault is that it doesn't pass my own personal test. This matters to nobody else except me. My perfect grade to a wine is if I can (in my minds eye) see a twentyish Sophia Loren stomping the grapes after I have a glass. This doesn't do that for me but it is very close.


Try this winery as they are making excellent wine and there is Pinot coming from here next year???????? I hope so cos that's what they alluded to.

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