Clear beautiful garnet, somewhat staining and clear edges. Tiny funk on opening blows off quickly in decanter. Peppery gob-smacking nose oh so ripe and yet with a spicy edge. Layers of oak, sublime dark dark cherry preserves border-lining on amaretto. Wet leather piquantness with a backbone of eucalyptus and fat lemon meringue with butter crust. Some dead-life ripeness but pulls it off in astonishing fashion.
It is interesting to compare this with last night’s 2007 29% merlot meritage. Again–like last night–I would guess a wine which shows very poorly young, but here at age 8 it pulls it off. Both are small, relatively unknown producers trying hard and where last night’s bottle failed on acidic construation, this goes the opposite direction in *almost* failing on overt ripeness. This thing has to be 14+ and is some of the most concentrated Merlot I have had, but it brings it HARD with acidity and balance–offsetting the almost-pornographic ripeness. It would be fun to put this up against Three Palms or Nickel & Nickel or Beringer Reserve or any of a number of hi-end Merlots.
In the mouth, fat overwhelming rich ripe concentrated fruit plies the course with incredible acidity and a fair balance–although a touch of alcohol out-weighs the acid. Three-Chocolate dessert. Unlike most Merlot’s, the fruit carries long into the middle and finish before the rubbery tannins take over. Yes, it has PHENOMENAL tannin–even at 7 years old–showing no sign of polish or fade. This could be considered a flaw. Will the fruit out-live the tannin? In classic Merlot fashion: probably not. They are dry and numbing and impossible to forget, but at the same time the shockingly overt fruit carry on in tête-à-tête conviviality with the structure. This is a Merlot where Pomerol meets California and one you will not soon forget.
2007 MCCONNELL ESTATES Merlot Wackman Ranch Cosumnes River Lodi SJV 13.7