St. Helena, California, U.S.A.
$19.98 at Twin Liquors, Bee Cave, TX
Color: Dark ruby
Nose: Sour cherry, sage, a hint of orange peel
Middle: Cassis, salt, coffee
Back: Hint of pepper, soft tannins
Burns clean?: Yes
I am a fan of Freemark Abbey wines, which I think are underrated. To the company's credit, they've priced their wines realistically, and this is a particularly good bargain (though I did get it on sale).
This is a Merlot, not a Cab, to be sure: it doesn't have the beefy body, but the herby aromatics are pronounced and interesting. The fruit is from Rutherford, and you can tell by the haunting, microfine tannins. My guess is that in two years this wine will be even more interesting on the palate than it is now.