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Ravenswood's taste in Merlot runs more toward the Old World discipline of Bordeaux than toward California goose-down comforters. The place in Sonoma to pursue that ideal is Ravenswood's own Carneros region, whose bayfront breezes and chilling fog keep things firm and well-structured. Their Sonoma County Merlot has notes of leather, smoke and green olive, plus a smattering of Sonoma Valley fruit that announces its presence with ripe plums and cherries, velvety texture and hint of brown sugar. Finally, a couple of Cabernets (Franc and Sauvignon) add backbone. In sum: a classic California version of a classic Pomerol.
Deep ruby in color. Complex scents of ripe loganberry, plums, smoke, anise, allspice, vanilla and licorice.
"Good full red. Pie cherry, currant and orange peel aromas, along with cooler suggestions of graphite and fresh herbs. Quite sweet and lush in the mouth, with superripe flavors of red cherry, currant, milk chocolate and lead pencil; faint suggestion of stewed fruits. Finishes with sweet tannins. " -Rated 87, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
"Ripe and rich, fairly straightforward in its black cherry and sweet oak aromas and enticingly round and supple on the palate, this Good Value Merlot accomplishes more at a reasonable price than all too many wines with more ambitious pricing. It has tannin for grip and will even support a few years of cellaring but why wait when it will be a very tasty mealtime mate today." -Rated 87, Connoisseur's Guide to California Wines
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