Dark cherries, cola, a touch of cranberries, and some mushrooms are on the palate, all with a background of spice, wood, and a teriyaki-like umami. Tannins are fine and sweet. It does not offer delicacy or flow with multiple layers of complexity, just gives you a whack of sweet fruit right in the face. Drink it with a grilled double-thick stuffed pork chop.

WHO: Merryvale
WHAT: Pinot Noir
WHERE: Carneros, Napa Valley, California
WHEN: 2007
HOW MUCH: $29

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David Honig