Ever since Merlot, once the red-hot new darling of the varietal wine scene, was cinematically disparaged in 2004 — you know, when that joker in the funny movie bad-mouthed Merlot and everybody started drinking Pinot instead — you’d think that it had dropped off the map. Not in Sonoma County, where it’s held its own at around 5,000 acres, and where pioneering producers know how to make the varietal to be its best.
Trentadue "La Storia" Alexander Valley Merlot 2015
This is a fine example of the ability of this classic Bordeaux variety to make solid, tasty and age-worthy wines. The main aromas and flavors are of dark cherries, plums, a bit of black licorice and herbs. The new oak contributes a touch of vanilla, brown sugar, cocoa dust and slight toast. On the mouth the wine is almost heavy but the acidity and tannins are balanced for such a young wine.