You know how you’re supposed to open the best wine first? Well, this happened to be the second bottle I opened for dinner, after a Merlot from another country turned out to be very lackluster. I poured this one, sniffed, and wow! Complex and familiar aromas, elements of black cherry, no make that black currant, with leather too, and leaf and forest underneath; the same on the palate, too. Good body, integrated tannins, and a medium-long finish. I made notes, then whisked the bottle off the table so I could try it again the next day. Yes, it really delivered, once again. At dinner, it worked especially well with garlicky beef. One negative: the bottle for this vintage was very heavy; hopefully they’ve reduced their carbon footprint since then. Highly recommended.
WHO: Summers Estate Winery
WHERE: Alexander Valley, California
HOW MUCH: around $23 (Media sample)