2004 Artesa Merlot
Appellation: Sonoma/Napa blend
Tasting Notes: 100% Merlot, 74% from Sonoma, 26% from Napa. 13.9% ABV. Bought this several months ago at a dinner with the winemaker after having the 2005 Merlot, which knocked my socks off. Pretty dark violet. This nose is a little candy, cherry, red berries, a touch of vanilla/oak. On the palate, the red raspberry and cherry fruit comes through along with a little pepper, some clove; fantastic tannins, a bit of oakiness, but not too much, and acid. Full body, smooth. Very food friendly. Big for a Merlot, but not as new world as you might think. Wonderful lingering finish. Delicious. Unbelievable for the price. Might have some time left on it too, I might hold the other bottle for a while longer.
Rating: 4/5, 17/20, 93/100
Price: $20 at The Wine Market
A note on ratings: I use the 100 point rating for Cellartracker, even though my palate is still developing. As a statistics geek, I know that the variability in scores works itself out as the number of scores increases. However, my score may not be yours or Robert Parker’s, it is simply a subjective value based on my palate. I much prefer to use a 5 point (or star, or whatever you want to call it) scale, as it more represents my reaction to wine, which is more simple than a 100 point scale represents. I like the 20 point scale as the more detailed score. On this site, I will provide all three, although the most meaningful are the 5 and 20 point ratings.