Bears' Lair California Merlot 2005

Sure, the packaging isn’t gonna win any awards – the label looks like it was done in Microsoft Word 97 complete with early dot com era clip art, the capsule is cheap and flimsy, and the cork looks like someone scrounged it from a county fair, but the first whiff ain’t half bad – at first, generic industrial red wine, but then, suddenly, fresh red raspberries appear. There’s also a bit of dusty oak there – I’m assuming chips, shavings, something cheap – but it works just fine. There’s also a hint of sourness as well as something that’s either Mint or Murphy’s oil soap. All in all, surprisingly complex.Color-wise, it’s medium ruby red in the glass, bright and sparkling, pretty enough to look at it. The big surprise is when you take a taste of it: it’s full, round, not half bad. It seems kinda bit flabby – a bit too much residual sugar without supporting acidity, and it’s kind of dumb on the finish; it sticks around longer than you’d probably want it to, which I suppose makes it perfect for holiday gatherings (Kidding! Hi Dad!). It may be nothing special, but it’s better than most wines at this price point.Bears’ Lair (but really Bronco Wine Company)Price: US $3.99Closure: CorkDate tasted: December 2007

2 thoughts on “Bears' Lair California Merlot 2005

  1. Where can I purchase Bears Lair Merlot in the NW part of Washington state?
    Trader Joe’s in Bellingham, WA no longer carries it.

    • Betty – My apologies, but I don’t know who’d carry this if not Trader Joe’s. This is made by Bronco, a huge Californian wine company that does a lot of business with TJ’s, but that’s all the info I have – sorry!

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