It’s always fun when an old friend comes around for a long overdue visit. That’s how I felt when this sample from Gundlach-Bundschu arrived. When Pamela and I worked for the Kimpton Group, one of our wine distributors was totally enamored with this producer and we also had a crush almost as intense on them at the same time circa 1996. Through the years, we have observed this wineries appeal grow and then wane. This sample proved to be the luscious complex Rhinefarm product that first caused us to fall in love with this wine in the beginning.
No matter where the pedigree is from, Merlot from California rarely obtains the status of Right Bank Bordeaux which are predominately Merlot comprised and highly lauded for their smoothness and drinkability over most first growth that are predominately Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine leads with aromas of dark floral notes (think violets) moving into red stone fruit with a plummy edge and some intense spice like a hint of clove and a bit of nutmeg. Braised fresh fennel and red plum fruit showcases the flavor profile that turns earthy and lightly spiced with vanilla and a very elegant texture that rounds out the lengthy finish to a large structured wine that will reward now or a decade from now. This is a great red wine to accompany many dishes you might think only a white wine will pair with and it is also a great wine to have around when you are serving a varied menu to guests who will only drink red wine. 2655 case production.
Rating: Excellent (90) | $30 | 14.4% ABV