Browse Tag


My belle

[csm]Chateau Ste. Michelle 1995 Meritage (Columbia Valley) — I would absolutely have guessed this would be presentable and drinkable. I would not have guessed it would be pretty good. It’s a safe wine that manages to show some nice tobacco-leaf and drying-fruit development despite the corporate baggage it carries. I like it a lot more than the allegedly superior Saint-Julien that it easily outshines. (4/16)

Well & no good

Murrieta’s Well 2004 “Meritage” (Livermore Valley) – 51% cabernet sauvignon, 21% merlot, 18% petite verdot, 10% cabernet franc. Solid, straightforward, entirely decent. Dark fruit inhabiting the cassis/blackberry/black cherry range, medium-weight structure, a welcome note of green leaf and black pepper, but mostly about forward fruit and early generosity. Not overoaked, which is a blessing. Gets a little cumbersome late, and I think the wine’s future is portended by that tardy clumsiness. (5/10)


Rodney Strong 2004 “Symmetry” Meritage (Alexander Valley) – The lushest wine of the tasting, with better aromatic complexity than anything I’ve yet sniffed. Mixed chocolates and a rush of upfront fruit are promising (though I’d prefer less of the former), the structure arrives and announces itself…and then the wine rather abruptly absents itself from the conversation. Just: poof! It disappears. A high-priced void. (2/08)