Early this Spring I was invited to visit the barrel room of Pacific Coast Vineyards located in Paso Robles, California. Already widely known for their International Award wining 2007 Pinot Noir, Todd and Tammy Schaefer also produce a wide variety of quality wines. My barrel room tasting included, among others, this 2008 Merlot.
When sampling wine from a barrel, one must use all their senses and their imagination as to how the final product will taste. Well, the waiting is over, and this 2008 Merlot has made its début as a stellar example of this noble grape.
Merlot is the largest produced grape in the Bordeaux region of France and a leading grape in California, yielding some of the most expensive and opulent wines in the world.
Generally, I do not include the wine maker notes along with my tasting notes, but here, I will defer to the Schaefers on the details on both the production and the tasting of this wine.
Wine maker notes: This new release was produced with only free run juice. Rather than using a wine press and risk bruising the wine grapes’ skin, this exquisite Merlot is produced with only free run juice to ensure the finest quality wine. This wine expresses a seamless, smoky, supple and seductive list of exotic spices wrapped around black cherry and blackberry fruit flavors. The smooth dark plush velvet finish leaves your palate longing for another sip. Alcohol 14.1% Retails $25*
My tasting notes: Deep crimson color with aromas of eucalyptus and raspberry. Flavors of clove and spice on the mid-palate, and cherry currant on the back. Long silky finish. Enjoy it now with a savory beef stew or beside the fire pit with after dinner cigars and blue cheese platter. But keep a few bottles tucked away, this wine will be drinking well for the next several years.
*This wine was provided as a Trade Sample.
Thanks to Todd and Tammy Schaefer for their hospitality.
Post update January 10, 2012
2008 Pacific Coast Vineyards Merlot wins Bronze Medal at the prestigious 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition