Napa Family Vineyards Napa Valley Finest Selection Reserve Merlot 2004

Pencil shavings, olive, and strawberries dominate the nose of this wine; it’s not too shabby, but it never really seems to evolve much beyond fruitiness with an oak undertone. It’s kind of like Kool-Aid mixed with wood chips.

In the mouth, this wine seems frankly way too sweet for a Napa merlot – and it’s not sucrosité, but residual sugar I think I’m tasting here. Ewww, gross – there’s barely any acidity here at all, and the overall effect is thoroughly unpleasant. However, the tannins are fairly interesting: finely grained and almost Australian in style, they seem flown in from a much better wine. Sadly, though, the bulk of the wine just hangs there limply in the mouth, waiting for you to swallow so that you can move on to something else. In terms of flavor, there’s some indeterminate milk chocolate but that’s about it, and there’s not much in the way of length here either: once the wine’s gone, the flavor’s gone. It’s all very disappointing. I imagine this is precisely the wine Miles was talking about in Sideways – and I probably should have heeded his advice.

Napa Family Vineyards [but really fresh&easy]
Price: US $10.99
Closure: Diam
Date tasted: November 2007

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