Rob Moshein - The Austin Wine Guy

Ok, Grocery Store wine that does NOT suck, Really...Wow.

February 19, 2010

So, was shopping at my local and my good bud Steve was chatting with a supplier. We got introduced, chatted. Next thing I know, after a really good and interesting chat, he wants me to review the wines. Whoa, cool. I start with 181 Merlot, Lodi California, 2007. A wine from DFV Wines, Delicato Vineyards to most of us. The nose, not Right bank by any stretch of the imagination. So, let's cut thru the Bordeaux pretense marketing on the bottle and see what is IN the bottle (hint, it is not Bordeaux).

The nose is lush, (first clue it's not Bordeaux). Rich, fleshy black tarry fruits (second clue it is not Bordeaux), Peppery spice and Dutch Cocoa on the nose. A rich, sort of apricot whiff on the mid sniff. The palate is rather lush and rich. Very much a New World wine, from a clearly warmer region than Bordeaux. Fat fruits, with a bright tone, peppery spice again. Decent acids and bit of a fleshy red/black fruit finish. A bit of wood adds body, not sure if I'm on board with it or not. But it is not offensive. There is a slight green pepper, leaf and stem, and copper on the finish. I suspect a bit of sulphur somewhere. Again, not offensive, but all are there.

So, look. I do not usually, ok ever, choose Merlot when something else is available. That said, for $12, this is a decent, pleasant bottle of wine that stands up well when compared to anything in the price point. I had it with broiled lamb loin chops. It didn't quite have the "chops" (pun intended) to pair perfectly with the lamb, but it worked well enough. I have had worse, much worse, for more money. This is solid, "joe sixpack working guy" caliber decent Merlot. No Napa Valley pretense, to it's credit.

So, well, heck. For $12, for California Merlot, that just does not suck, and actually delivers solid workmanlike good quality for the dollar, well I think the 181 works quite fine. 

Merlot lovers, Drink This Wine!


Rob Moshein, Austin Wine Guy. 

*Ethical Disclosure: This wine was provided to me at no charge for my review*

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