I almost never buy Merlot or order a glass of Merlot from a restaurant menu. I have what I believe is a well founded prejudice against this wine because most of those on the market are either soft and sweet, overly oaky or reek of green vegetables such as celery and bell peppers. I realize, of course, that some of the great wines of Pomerol and Saint Emilion are mostly Merlot. And I have thoroughly enjoyed some high end New World Merlots such as Duckhorn and Leonetti. This Boomtown Merlot from Washington State is a budget wine that won my approval.
Deep and dark. There is 6% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. Cherries and dark chocolate but not at all sweet. Also some black currants but not even a trace of green veggies. Tannic enough to match up well with pan seared duck. But there is enough acid to keep the wine lively and highlight the fresh fruit. The winemaker notes that 20% of the wine was aged in new French oak, but even at this early stage, I can detect no oak influence.
For $13.99 (a reduced price for those who attended the Tasters Guild wine dinner), this Merlot is a bargain. I ordered four bottles.