Friday, February 29, 2008

2002 Franciscan Oakville Estate Merlot


Region: Napa Valley
Country: U.S.A
Alcohol: 13.5%
Price: €19,95 (on sale from 39.00)
Closure: Cork

Since the movie Sideways, merlot has certainly come across some tough times (especially in the U.S.A). Miles, one of the major characters in the movie Sideways, gives wines produced from the grape an extremely hard time. "If anyone orders merlot, I'm leaving. I am not drinking any fucking merlot." was probably his most famous line in the film. As a result merlot sales plummeted (mostly in the U.S.A I might add).

There is not doubt that there is plenty of poor to average merlot being produced (as per wine from pretty much any other grape variety). However, it should be noted that some of the worlds most sort-after, and costly wines are also made from the varietal. One only needs to think of the great wines from the Pomerol in Bordeaux such as Chateau Petrus and Chateau Le Pin. I just wish more people would trust their own palate rather than follow a trend started by a bleeding movie.

Anyway, this wine is a merlot and is produced by the Franciscan Winery which was founded in 1972 by a group of lawyers and doctors from San Francisco who decided to try turning their passion for wine into a business. The wine is a blend of 87% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Sauvignon. Here is my note:

Dark, dark red/purple in colour moving more to brick-red at the edges. Powerful nose initially quite funky sweet medicinal though it settles down nicely to reveal plenty of ripe, sweet cherry and black berry fruit. Good mouth-feel with plenty of intense curranty, black berry / cherry fruit. Initially little evidence of oak, but the finish shows a lot of drying, chalky tannins that really dominate the finish way too much which in my view ruins the wine.

4 comments:

lynhistory said...

You should have taken a second sip and more of the Merlot. The finish improves with each taste. And it's a rich wonderful taste in this wine. The bottle was a gift, . . . too expensive for me to buy.

Did you really wtite: "some of the worlds most sort-after, and costly wines . . ."?

Sort-after? Ho! Ho! S/B: "Sought-after" and "world's."

Art M from Long Island

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lm said...

Actually, if no one has told you yet, part of that joke actually ends up being on Miles, as one of the varietals in his prized bottle of '61 Cheval Blanc happens to be the Merlot grape.

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