St. Helena, California, USA2005
$17.99 -- HEB, Austin, TX
Color: Medium garnet
Nose: Cassis, chocolate, flowers
Middle: Cafe au lait
Back: Cedar, toasted bagel
Burns clean?: Yes
My first taste of this wine was at the Blue Duck Tavern in Washington, DC. It's a superfancy restaurant, and as at most such joints right now, the Merlots are the best values on the list. I had it decanted, since I was dining alone and was expecting a comparatively short evening, and also maybe 'cause I knew I would enjoy the spectacle of pretension (they've got humongous decanters there) brought to bear on a bottle of wine that sells for $17 retail.
That night it was fabulous with roasted pork rib and fingerling potatoes with bone marrow. It's not a big wine, and not many-layered. But it's really smooth, with soft tannins, and plays nice with food. Good with a sunset, or Eartha Kitt, or after some exercise.