The nose is rich—mulberry, unsweetened chocolate, and a ripe, meaty, gaminess. The Cabernet Franc leads on the attack, more blackberry than mulberry, with tobacco leaf and unsweetened chocolate. Merlot takes over on the mid-palate, softening to a silky mouthfeel and offering hints of red fruit and fine, dusty tannins. The finish is mid-length with lingering tastes of unsweetened chocolate. Drink with bacon-wrapped filet. Highly Recommended. DH
The nose is rich - mulberry, unsweetened chocolate, and a ripe, meaty, gaminess. The cabernet franc leads on the attack, more blackberry than mulberry, with tobacco leaf and unsweetened chocolate. Merlot takes over on the mid-palate, softening to a silky mouthfeel and offering hints of red fruit and fine, dusty tannins. The finish is mid-length with lingering tastes of unsweetened chocolate. Drink with bacon-wrapped filet. Highly Recommended. DH
With neighbors like Opus One and Rubicon, this was bound to be a keeper. Nose of cedar, anise, tobacco, and fresh leather. Flavors of blueberries, cassis, and chocolate with soft, well-integrated tannins. Velvety finish. Nice now, but will be even better by 2013. Cries out for a grilled hanger steak with its rich, beefy flavor. Highly recommended. GT
If you live near a Costco you know where this is going. “Kirkland” is Costco’s proprietary brand for everything from soup to nuts (and I mean that literally). They market a “Kirkland Signature Wine Collection” whereby they slap their own label on wines, and some of them are quite good and represent excellent value. This Meritage is a classic Bordeaux blend. The nose is slightly herbal and gives off whiffs of boysenberry and cedar. The flavors are of blackberry and there is perhaps a shade too much oak. The merlot comes on strong, almost overtaking the cabernet sauvignon, but the fruit is quite nice. A tad one-dimensional, but still very pleasant, and an absolute bargain for the price and quality. Nice with simple grilled meats. Recommended. GT
Four hours in the nose is blueberry and black cherry pie. The same fruits, adding unsweetened chocolate, high notes of tobacco leaf and a touch of eucalyptus and vanilla doesn't overpower now and will fade with more time, all make a complex but well-knit palate. Tannins are dust-fine and sweet. The finish lingers. Buy it now but cellar it for five more years. When you do drink it, drink it with a black-and-blue ribeye and fried onions. Highly recommended. DH
The nose is a little tight, suggesting blueberries and tobacco along with a light background of red fruits and licorice. It offers some interesting complexity in the palate, too, with loads of dark fruit, blackberry, elderberry, and blueberry, with a bright red fruit background. The mid-palate has coffee and licorice, the finish adds unsweetened chocolate. Tannins are very sweet, mouth-feel is very smooth. Complexity seems to come from fruit (plus, perhaps, some extraction), not from wood. The wood effect is clear but light, adding touches of spice but not overwhelming the original juice. It would be at home with a steak or a great burger, or a fireplace and a friend. Highly recommended. DH
Nose of pink grapefruit and apple, with a very slight back hint of spice—cinnamon, maybe? Very clean and rich on the palate, with elements of the pink grapefruit and peaches. The fruit is very expressive—this is not an austere, steely Sauvignon Blanc. Finishes long and clean. Impressive. Try with grilled shrimp. Highly recommended. GT
Improving with every sip, gaining structure and depth with every extra minute of air, this is a beautiful baby that will, with time, mature into a gorgeous adult. Dark fruit (blackcurrant and mulberry) has a background of tobacco leaf and the tiniest touch of cayenne. Rich very dark chocolate and espresso pop on the mid-palate. Tannins are very sweet and dusty. Even with all the rich sweetness, it also has good acids and an underlying minerality, offering a decade or more in the cellar, maturing and offering layers of primary and secondary flavors in the future. Drink with a good steak and a better friend. Very highly recommended.