Sunday, January 17, 2010

Whitehall Lane Merlot

Whitehall Lane Winery
Napa Valley
St. Helena, California, USA

$19.99 -- Costco, Austin, TX

Color: Medium to dark garnet
Nose: Honey, thyme, plum
Body: Medium
Front: Hi-C
Middle: RC ColaTM, fig
Back: Soft tannins, cafe au lait
Burns clean?: No, unfortunately! But it was worth it.
Cap: Cork

After a string of quasi-disappointments, this wine's making me happy. The nose is delightful, and I don't hate Hi-C in wine the way some other folks seem to--as long as the taste develops into something else comparatively quickly. When it was open an hour, if I were tasting it blind, I think I'd have guessed it was a cheap California pinot noir--that's how fabricated-fruity it was. But it's getting more layers, as described in the tasting notes above, as it opens up, which is lovely. And the color is stunning.

Usually I talk about the food I eat with the wines, but as my workload gets heavier, the leftovers begin to gather about the house like guests on the third day. So it's not as interesting to talk about the food, which is forced into duty, and the wines tend to be powerful reds that can overcome leftover stew and roast beef.

Even my musical world has grown a bit constricted. I'm listening to Jack Johnson tonight; he comforts me when I have a ton of work to do, for some reason--I suppose surf music is supposed to do that! Coincidentally, however, it's not bad with the Merlot: laid-back, but occasionally accusatory, if not a tad self-righteous.