Sunday, June 22, 2008

Buttonwood Merlot 2003

Nehi Grape Soda in a new leather wine skin.

Buttonwood Farms
Santa Ynez Valley
alcohol 13.%
85% Merlot 15% Cabernet Franc
from the California Wine Club

From the label:

Merlot... full bodied and supple witha spicy disposition. Take her to dinner with lamb, beef, pork or duck.

Folks, that's a bad sign. When the winemaker has to pretend the wine is a girl, and says it goes with everything, well, it's probably not a girl you want to date, and it might not go with anything.

This was purple, new wine purple. It was also shy, not giving up much but a slight chemical smell the first half hour out of the bottle. Even an hour after a glass was poured alcohol drove the nose (I wonder if the 13.7% is accurate). Finally, if you managed to dodge between the chemical and alcohol, there were some green olives and some vegetation.

The palate was better, overwhelmingly spicy with blackpepper, nutmeg and green peppers. Some cherry was there, too, but gritty dry tannins were distracting.

Will this get better overnight? Come back for the second episode and we will find out together.

Second night and I have never before been more perfectly confident in my description of a wine than I am this one, but it ain't pretty. I mentioned a chemical smell last night but I could not put my finger on what it was. Tonight it was clearer. It was the chemical/fake fruit smell, and taste, of artificially flavored grape soda. This also had strident tannins. This wine es EXACTLY what you would get if you put flat Nehi Grape Soda in a new leather wine skin. That's it, I have nothing else to add. Flat Nehi Grape Soda in new leather wine skin.

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