Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Michel-Schlumberger Merlot Dry Creek Valley 2004

First, absolutely HUGE credit to Schlumberger for a very simple reason- they sent me wine in recycled paper packaging, not styrofoam. Do you have any idea how completely INSANE it makes me to see wineries that claim to be "organic," or "biodynamic," or at least "concerned about the environment," only to get bottles of wine packed in something that will last a grazillion years in a landfill? They will also be moving to soy-based ink. Credit where credit is due. Thank you Schlumberger.

What can I tell you? The Wooden Guys are torn. Michel Schlumberger and Schlumberger winery were incredibly kind to send out four bottles for a Live Twitter Tasting. On the other hand, we just have to give honest reviews. The wooden guys did not love any of the Schlumberger wines. The most complete notes are on the Merlot, below. We also tried the Chardonnay (way too woody and buttery- the wooden guys were not amused), the Cabernet (EXTREMELY tannic on Night one, with a hint of a scent I never got on the nose of a wine before- Tabasco), and the Syrah (by far the best of the bunch, a good wine, not overblown or jammy, terroir forward and well balanced. It showed significant improvement from Night One to Night Two, and is recommended).

here are my notes from Twitter on the Syrah, and Cabernet:


Nice nose- not Aussie fruit bomb, more terroir-driven.

some blackberry under the tannins, lots of leather to finish. New wine in a new leather wine skin.

the syrah is just starting to open now (after about an hour).

The syrah is coming into its own. Open nose, cherries & blueberries, vanilla, and an earthy touch of mackeral (it works). ... Mackeral? Tiny fishy smell in the background- rich, not foul. like adding anchovy paste for richness, not flavor.

Cabernet Sauvignon

2 Days per Bottle here, so I started last night. Mulberry jam & tobacco leaves, then ... wait for it .. Tobasco! Just for a second or two. On the palate, verry tannic, even bitter, with blackcurrants and violets hiding beneath.

Now, on to the Merlot:

Estate Bottled Wine
14.3% alcohol
Dry Creek Valley

From the bottlenotes:

Michel-Schlumberger established a name for its superbly structured Merlot in th early 19902, and this rendition caries that banner with aplomb. Blended with Malbec, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Carmanere, this long, spicy Merlot has a nicely etched profile that gives its lush fruit unusual finesse. The grapes for this wine come from several select vineyard parcels that grow in our small pocket canyon in western Dry Creek Valley.

Night One

Deep black cherries, vanilla, and a hint of toasted almonds on the nose.

There is a lot of red fruit on the palate, cherries and raspberries. It gets a bit more tart on the midpalate, then blends smoothly into mild soft tannins. The finish comes up a little short, falling off quickly, leaving some dry leather on the cheeks from tannins.

Night Two

Red cherries and some cassis, and a touch of balsam make up the nose. On the palate, tart cherries up front with some chocolate appearing on the midpalate. Tannins are smooth. Mouth feel is a little thin. The fruit, once again, dies quickly, leaving leather and not much else for the finish.

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