A few weeks back I took a look at Opolo Vineyards Pinot Noir release. In short I felt it was an enjoyable wine to drink but not necessarily a typical Pinot Noir. I'll continue today with an occasional look at releases from Opolo Vineyards. Their portfolio is pretty wide and covers close to 30 offerings in any given year. At the moment I'm going to look at their 2005 Merlot. As much as I love Pas Robles I have found that Bordeaux varietals can be hit and miss in that area compared to Rhone Varietals, Zinfandels, Italian Varietals and the like. The 2005 Opolo Vineyards Merlot opens with a big nose loaded with dark plum, black cherry and subtle eucalyptus. Taking the first sip it's apparent this big wine need to be decanted if it' to be enjoyed now. At least an hour in the decanter is recommended to allow this one to begin to truly emote. Once it opens up an avalanche of berry fruit, spice and structure becomes apparent. The mid-palate of this wine has mocha and cherry notes underscored by a candied edge. Cedar and earth notes become more prominent at the end of the mid-palate and carry through the finish which is above average in length. Good acidity is present and this wine is nicely balanced.
This wine has a suggested retail of about $35 and can be found for a few dollars less. What I like most about this Merlot is that it's true to it's varietal. It's a big, beefy wine but not over the top in any way. This is a plush, layered, serious Merlot that tastes more expensive than it's price tag. It'll evolve positively for at least 5 years and drink well for a couple after that.
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