Lunching at Wood Ranch restaurant in Los Angeles is always a bit of a treat, but especially on Tuesdays, when all their wines are half-price. At $7.50 by-the-glass and $12 per bottle retail, $3.75 was a true bargain for a glass of 14 Hands Merlot 2010. Even if I didn't like it. But I did.
This Washington wine, from vineyards in Columbia Valley, is a blend of 78% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Syrah, 1% Grenache and 1% Cabernet Franc. The various varieties are aged in American and French oak and blended after vinification. Alcohol hits 13.5% abv.
Medium ruby in the glass, this Merlot gives a jammy nose of blueberry, strawberry and raspberry. The palate shows a beautiful collection of oak-tinged fruit. Dusty cherries lead the way, with clove and nutmeg rounding out a great flavor profile. It does have a rather thin feel, but the finish is medium-long with spices lingering.
While you may have something a little more special in mind for your holiday spread, this bottle should be appreciated when you bring it to holiday parties, as long as they are okay with drinking some "@#$%! Merlot." It's reasonably priced, good tasting and easy to find, even at the supermarket.