This was a lovely bottle of Pinot Noir. For the price it was excellent. Dry and very drinkable. Would definitely purchase this again.
I purchased this wine on a one day sale, to give it a try. You never know until you try but in retrospect I should have purchased a truckload. I love good Merlot and this is, truly, one of thr finest I have ever tasted! Supple, smooth and soft with sufficient character to take you all the way. It is dry but not in the least astringent; the richness of the fruit is amazing and fills your nosae, mouth and soul; it is difficult to imagine how added aging will actually improve it. It is even more difficult to believe one can stop drinking it! California produces the only Merlot worth drinking and this is an outstanding example. I have only had one finer (marginally) and that is Sterling Three Palms. That said, Swanson vineyards Merlot is gorgeous and is just...HUGE! I wish I had more.
Chateauneuf-du-Pape is, let's face it, expensive. Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005 is one of the best I've ever tasted. Yes, yes, forceful it is, minerality is definitely present but the reviews I've read leave out how very smooth and soft it is on the palate! All without losing one iota of its power. The tannins, which give it such beautiful body, are tamed; I don't know how else to put it. The wine has a nose that is nothing if not perfume. It is a rich, full-bodied wine with some great cherry/plum flavor. Very dry but creamy and a true delight. If I had the wherewithall I'd buy several cases. Just fantastic!