In some quarters and in some vintages, Merlot may be considered the less
able rival of Cabernet Sauvignon. Alexnder Valley Vineyards' 2005 Estate Merlot, however, easily
gives their Cabernet a run for its money, shattering the notion anyone
might have that Merlot is somehow a wimpy wine. In fact, Winemaker
Kevin Hall calls the 2005 a Merlot that thinks it's a Cab.
There's a lot of concentration and depth here as well as amazing
structure. The great 2005 vintage delivered such good fruit that no other
varietal other than Merlot was necessary to round out the blend. There
are aromas of blackberry and cassis along with an undertone of vanilla.
On the palate, the richness and hefty core of fruit shine along with the
While Merlot's popularity can be attributed to its easygoing
style, some credit may also lie in the fact that it's the perfect food
wine, bold without being intrusive. As a result, this wine makes an excellent companion for
a range of foods, from veal chops to beef stew to pizza.