I did not read the reviews on this one close enough before opening it and missed the recommendations by Vic and the LCBO panel to decant it. My mistake because this one really needs breathing. I don’t tend to decant Merlots, I find they loose that distinctive subtle Merlot flavor quickly. Upon initial opening I could pick up a hint of varietal Merlot. On the mid pallet the wine is overwhelmed by dominant alcohol. There were some very mild Merlot flavors and some dark fruits but hidden. After some time the alcohol did start to subside so I suspect some breathing would have helped HUGELY. Some aging to give the alcohol time to integrate would also help. As it breathed I found it was tasting more cab like than Merlot. On the finish there are some tannins. This is by no means a fruit forward style Merlot. If you don’t have the patience to decant this one and like your Merlot’s fruit forward, then I recommend you skip this one. Because of my poor handling of this wine I would give it an 87 or so. Not a chance I’ll be running out to grab more.

From the LCBO web site:
CLOS DU BOIS SONOMA RESERVE MERLOT 2006 VINTAGES 34900 | 750 mL bottle Price: $ 19.95
Wine, Red Wine, 14.5% Alcohol/Vol. Sugar Content : D
Made in: California/Californie, United States By: Constellation Wines U S
Release Date: Nov 7, 2009

Tasting Note
An impressive Sonoma Merlot at an incredible price. The aromas bring to mind pretty blackberry, plum, dark chocolate and spice. Ripe fruit on the palate yet very skillfully balanced by medium-to-firm tannins. There is very good depth of flavour here, and a substantial finish. Cellar it 2+ years, or decant and enjoy it this evening with rich meat dishes. (VINTAGES panel, April 2009)

What had to say:
Clos du Bois Sonoma Reserve Merlot 2006 Alexander Valley Sonoma County. 14.5% alcohol Nudging 5 stars this is another fabulous Wine of the Month selection its rich concentrated and flavourful. Dark berry mocha and mixed spice on the nose the palates coated with well-balanced and fully textured flavours black Damson plum black currant and cassis moderated by good acidity and underpinned by a supple tannin structure. The finish lingers adorned by nuances of bittersweet chocolate and kirsch liqueur. Aerate/decant a couple of hours before serving. (Vic Harradine) (034900) $19.95 Featured 11/7/2009. 4.5/5 stars

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