Saturday, March 1, 2008

Gordon Brothers Merlot, 2005

Gordon Brothers Merlot, 2005

About a year ago we purchased two bottles of Gordon Brothers 2005 Merlot that we placed in our cellar. With the recent release of the 2006 vintage, we decided to open a 2005 and enjoy it with a casual Friday night dinner and video. This is a Washington State Columbia Valley Merlot that is a big wine showcasing our strength with the Merlot grape. The color was a deep purple garnet with good opaqueness. On the nose was black cherry, coffee grinds and a hint of vanilla. We first tasted the wine immediately after opening the bottle, and were surprised and initially overwhelmed by the presence of "The Oak Monster". The wine had a velvet texture, medium to full bodied, with rich flavors of dark berries, cream, vanilla and espresso. The tannins are low and well integrated. We decided to re-cork this oaky Merlot and save it until Sunday, when we were having an Academy Award Party. On Sunday, we removed the VacuVin seal and decanted the wine for 4 hours during the afternoon. That night the wine was much nicer. The "Oak Monster" had left the building leave behind a smooth, big wine with plenty of character, minus the oak!

Wine maker's notes…
WINEMAKING: After picking, the Estate Grown Merlot was gently crushed into open top stainless steel fermentation tanks. The skins and juice were allowed to “cold soak” for a number of days prior to the addition of cultured yeast. This process creates darker colors and enhances the ripeness of flavors. After fermentation was completed, the finished wine was drawn off and the skins were pressed. The entire vintage was aged in small French and American oak barrels. Gentle racking of the barrels allowed for the removal of solids without filtration. After aging, a small amount of Gordon Brothers Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec were blended into the 2005 Merlot to add complexity to the wine.
WINEMAKER COMMENTS: Another classic Washington Merlot with rich aromas of black cherry, spice and rose petals. A deep ruby color signifies this bold Merlot with rich mouth-feel and smooth tannins. This is a great wine to pair with your favorite grilled meats.

Wine Spectator Notes…
Spectator Wine Spectator - 91 “Ripe and generous, a silky, plush-textured mouthful of red plum, raspberry, cream and coffee flavors that arch enticingly from the first sip through the long, round finish. Drink now through 2013.” -HS

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