California and Napa specifically make some of my favorite Merlots. I have in the past copped to my bias to having a particular idea in my head going into any Merlot tasting of what it is I am looking for. I picked this one up on spec. It had plum listed on the back of the bottle, a tell tale sign that I look for in a varietal Merlot. The wine is quite dark in color. On the nose the wine has a very slight Merlot bouquet. On the mid pallet it has a slight bit of Merlot flavors. I got some blueberry and maybe some cherry. On the finish the wine especially right out of the bottle is slightly bitter and peppery. Not overly Merlotish. The finish is medium I would say. Not a fabulous Merlot but not bad either. I let it bottle breath for about 1/2 hour and that helped. I don’t really decant Merlot’s I find they will loose that subtle flavor quickly. The oak and alcohol are relatively under control and this is a reasonably well balanced wine. If I had to put a number on it I would give it an 88 or so.
From the LCBO web site:
TANGLEY OAKS MERLOT 2005 Napa Valley Lot #10 A Merlot from Napa that bountifully displays the virtues of this misunderstood grape. Filled with cherry espresso spice and toast aromas and flavours this wonderfully balanced wine will cellar 2-4 years or enjoy it now with grilled lamb or gourmet sausages. 68155 $21.95 Featured 4/11/2009