Endangered Merlot

Meduim ruby with wide clear edges and non-staining.  Ripe, strangely-jammy Zinfandel-ish nose blasts out, round and warm-weather and volcano.  Still mud-pie, graphite-shavings and ripeness with a watermelon, dusty-rose, library-glasses smartness, probably in a horizontal-stripe sweater and she defintely doesn’t wear perfume.

All business and talks in a whisper until you pry into the warm wood shelves of elegant intelligence and you can sit and listen to this one for HOURS.  I love it, as long as I don’t think too hard about it, because I’m not sure what we are trying to accomplish with this wine.  There is no typicity, no varietal correctness, fruit’s a tad awkward–one of those blind-tasting DREAMS.  Lean, tight and even headed green, just enough charming to woo, packed with edge and soft fruit–but in all directions that Sierra Foothill warmth sticks out.  Grippy, chewy and chalky, all wrapped around fruit spewing old-world diatribes.  This gives the *if I want lean & mean I’ll drink Bordeaux* crowd a considerable amount of fodder.  Nicely balanced in its austerity, I am sore to rationalize many of its components, and it drinks like a satellite–but with a California fanny-pack you just can’t shed.  Maybe it will snuggle closer when you walk it home.

2014 FORLORN HOPE Merlot ‘Onavolk’ Estate Calaveras County  12.9

www.forlornhopewines.com

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