Category: "Red Blend"
This is an exciting bottle from the moment the cork is removed. I have experienced few wines with as much aromatic presence as this has. For a moment I even considered not drinking it because if I did I would have nothing left to smell...but that was a very brief moment. This wine has a tremendous balance of flavors from its blend of 50% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot. The subtle tannins and light acid give Lateral depth without losing focus. The wine has great, creamy texture and it lingers in your mouth for an enjoyably long time. This wine really perpetuates my feeling that Merlot, when done well, can be excellent.
The 2005 is no longer available from the winery, but the 2006 is listed at $36. At that price point, this is not an everyday wine for anyone I know. But this is a great wine for an occasion of any magnitude.
Washington is probably my favorite region right now. I've tried a few different wineries, including the two that are almost synonymous with Washington wine. One of them, Chateau Ste. Michelle, gives us Orphelin - a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Sangiovese, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Souzao and Touriga.
The blending of nine (9) different grapes makes for a complex wine, but almost an intimidating one as well if you are the new guy on the wine block like I am. I expected the wine to dance across my pallette and thoroughly confuse me, but I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth this wine is. I would drink this as a great everyday wine, though I'm not sure if it is one that would spark much conversation amongst dinner guests.
This bottle cost $20 at my local wine shop. I'm not sure I would buy it again for more than $15. And I feel bad saying that since I liked the wine so much, but I have had a lot of good wines at $10-12 recently so it is hard to justify the extra money for this one.
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