2008 Buena Vista Ramal Vineyard Merlot

Fantastic.  Perhaps the best merlot I’ve ever had, and by no means an overstatement.  I hadn’t pulled a merlot since we started logging these tastings, and that’s a mistake when it comes to grapes this good.  As soon as the cork was out you could smell the dark berries wafting up…scents of blackberry and spice all mixing together.  It tasted even better–rich, fruity (and yet not too sweet), and almost cabernet-like in its composition.  The spice was a great undertone and made me pull the label to see what my taste buds were experiencing.  This merlot could have been perfectly paired with everything or nothing, but I had it with a great steak, covered with a butter/wine reduction sauce, and sides that included broccoli and a mixed white and wild rice combo.  Here’s what the winemaker offered:

With 112 small vineyard blocks, the 564-acre Carneros Ramal Vineyard Estate offers a gorgeous palette of aroma, flavor, and texture.  Winemaker Jeff Stewart layers wine selected from individual barrels to create this elegant Merlot.  Alluring aromas of blackberry, plum, and cherry introduce concentrated flavors of black cherry, spice, green tea, and tobacco that linger on round, soft tannins.

Just amazing.

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