TBIFOM #02: The M Word
(The Bottle In Front Of Me is a series of regular, brief tasting notes from the Rogue Estate’s resident wine guy, Ian.) The M word. Seven years after it's release, the most notorious quote from "Sideways" still rings in most Americans' ears: (Miles Raymond) "If anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving. I am NOT drinking any fucking Merlot!" The bottle in front of me is not Miles' Merlot. It's Massive. Macho. Murderous. Aside from the few decent Bordeaux's I've splurged on, my Merlot experience is limited mostly to high volume, low-flavor Californian juice of little note. I typically associate strawberry aromas and flavors with these young bottles, rushed to market. At $10-15 a pop, there has been little encouragement to search deeper. M. Cosentino has given me that encouragement. I found their 2005 Napa County Merlot lurking behind the more current 2006 at a local shop. I got wine-jacked. 2005 M. Cosentino Napa County Merlot (About $16) Learn more about the winery: http://www.cosentinowinery.com/index/page/static/subpage/cosentino_winery Learn more about the bottle in front of me: http://www.cosentinowinery.com/common/downloads/cosentino/THEwines_factsheet_MER_2006.pdf SEE: A very deep, rich ruby color, with nice clarity. Consistent color through to the rim, showing little signs of age. SWIRL: The wine clings stubbornly to the sides of the glass, resulting in extremely slow legs. SMELL: Very ripe (almost overripe) aromas of black stone fruits, cherry and plum. Some deep floral and herb scents - mild lilies and sweet annie. Wood shows through with faint tar, cedar, and vanilla. SIP: Powerful, dense, chewy fruit on the tongue, with cassis, black plum, and black cherry upfront. An initial sweet attack is followed with a wash of tartness. The concentration and plum flavors combine to give an impression of prunes (in a good way). SAVOR: The fruit resolves to a mildly sweet tobacco finish, which stretches into a lingering smoky espresso flavor. Final impression: This is defiantly Californian, new world, and BIG. A great value for the price, and a wine to be be savored over a few hours. Pair with: Man food. Grilled hanger steak, lamb burgers, and strong, funky, salty cheeses. P.S. Mafioso Maduros for the bonus.