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Homewood Winery Merlot Port 2010

Homewood Winery Merlot Port 2010
Dry Creek, CA

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I picked up this bottle on a recent sojourn to Sonoma from the one vineyard we ventured to on a quick day trip to the region. I thought the merlot port delicious in the tasting room, and I’m interested to see how it stacks up when drunk at home.

It smells of raspberry, strawberry, and very faint vanilla. For a port, it’s surprisingly light-bodied. I agree with our host from the tasting room that it pairs best with white chocolate; drinking it now brings me back to how it mingled with that confection during the tasting. Vanilla takes over the sip, and it’s tinged with buttery notes.  On drinking, the wine is closer to fig than berry in flavor, with amazing brown sugar that tastes moist and pure. A strawberry layer swells up toward the middle of the swish, but it’s fast, so you might miss it. Or never taste it at all, if your tasting buds are different than mine. Hint: They probably are!

This port is a lot of fun to drink, and I imagine it will only deepen in depth with age. But I never age anything so rest assured that you can enjoy it now.

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Other Bloggers’ Thoughts:

Again, I’ve found no blog reviews of this wine. I’m beginning to suspect that local wine bottlings without mass distribution don’t end up with many reviews of their wares. Hrm. I think that deserves further pondering despite it being rather unsurprising.

Reviewed 26 December 13.

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Edna Valley Vineyard 2011 Merlot

Edna Valley Vineyard 2011 Merlot
Central Coast, CA

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This merlot’s nose has plastic overtones, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying its raspberry and pepper notes. It’s thin to medium bodied and meatier than expected on drinking. Think nicely seasoned duck with a spicy raspberry and stewed tomato sauce. That pepper will tickle your nose! I also taste elements of a mirepoix: celery, carrot, dried herbs. Obviously, I’m thinking about dinner now. The raspberry is the thinnest part of the wine; the other notes liven it up. At the end of the glass, dry leather makes an appearance.

You can sink your teeth into this wine. It’s fun to drink but not necessarily worth repeating.

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2010 Fetzer Crimson Winemaker’s Favorite Red Wine Blend

2010 Fetzer Crimson Winemaker’s Favorite Red Wine Blend
Mendocino County, CA

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I admit to reticence when trying this wine, not knowing if a big label’s wine was up to snuff at under $10. Plus, there were a lot of words on that label, which frankly can be off-putting for those not that skilled in wine-label deciphering. I am not that skilled in wine-label deciphering. This particular blend comes courtesy of winemaker Dennis Martin.

It smells like raspberry jam with a hefty dose of tobacco and some mustiness. When drinking, it’s pretty delicious — my expectations were wrong, wrong, wrong. The wine recalls a shortbread cookie with jam including the buttery, slightly burnt crust. Heck, I can even taste the flour dusting. There is also spice — pepper, allspice, star anise — just enough to jazz it up into perfection.

I could drink this wine all night. In fact, I probably will.

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