I need suggestions... - Printable Version

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- psych student - 06-09-2001

for a good red wine. My husband and I are interested in a tasty wine that will also benefit our health. We've been told red wine is best for health purposes, but neither of us knows anything about wine. HELP!!!

- Bucko - 06-09-2001

Wine is not a health food. For health, proper weight, low cholesterol, no tobacco, a physical exam every two years and aerobic exercise will keep you hail and hearty.

Now, that said, wine has a nice side-effect of raising good cholesterol (HDL), helping prevent oxidation of bad cholesterol (LDL), and has some anti-platelet effects.

I assume that since you posted this under Merlot, that is what you are looking for. Here are a few notes, with ratings being quality/value:

1999 Blackstone, Merlot, Napa Valley, California, $16. Blackberry and chocolate aromas and flavors, brisk acidity, smooth tannins, and well-integrated oak are framed on a long, fruity finish. 84/85.

1998 Fetzer, Merlot, Barrel Select, Sonoma County, California, $13, 24,000 cases. Blueberry, spice, cedar and light vanilla notes are repeated on the palate, with some coarse tannins that will benefit from a couple of years in bottle. 85/87.

1997 Kestrel, Merlot, Columbia Valley, Washington, $28. Dense blackberry and earthy aromas repeat themselves on the palate. Very rich, with silky tannins, the wine is enhanced by 30% Hungarian oak which add an addition layer of interest. 90/90.

1998 Monterra, Merlot, San Bernabe Vineyards, Monterey, California, $10. Black cherry and spicy aromas and flavors, finishing with moderate tannins and crisp acidity. 85/87.

1998 St. Clement, Merlot, Napa Valley, California, $26, 2,000 cases. This lovely ruby colored wine has black cherry, cedar, and vanilla cream aromas, which are repeated on the palate. Elegant, balanced, with satiny tannins on the finish, this is a nice effort from a difficult vintage. 90/90.

1998 Trinity Oaks, Merlot, California, $10, 45,000 cases. Cherries, black olive and vanilla aromas are repeated on the palate, with a quite tart finish. 83/85.

1998 Barwang, Merlot, Coonawarra, South Australia, $14. Dark ruby, with appealing aromas of plums, blackberries and olives. Mixed berry flavors greet the palate, with a dash of green pepper, dill and oak vanillin. 84/87.

1999 Calina, Merlot, Maule Valley, Chile, $8. Sparkling ruby, with cherry, blackberry, and black olive notes. Supple tannins invite early drinking. Lush cherry, blackberry, and mixed oak flavors combine to make a nice valued wine. 87/93.

1998 Chateau Ste Michelle, Merlot, Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard, Columbia Valley, Washington, $22. Blueberry, vanilla, and mint aromas highlight this dark ruby wine. Nicely balanced, with blackberry, blueberry and toasty oak overtones, along with brisk acidity on the finish. 85/86.

1998 Chateau Ste Michelle, Merlot, Indian Wells Vineyard, Columbia Valley, Washington, $31. Lovely aromas of black cherry, cedar, and chocolate aromas charm the nose. Very elegant on the palate, there are full flavors of black cherry and French oak, with medium weight tannins. Will improve in the bottle. 86/85.

1998 Chateau Ste Michelle, Merlot, Reserve, Columbia Valley, Washington, $37. The nose is loaded with mixed red and black fruit, cocoa, cinnamon and clove spice. Very elegant, with velvety tannins, the fruit is full and lush, the finish long and pleasing. A fine example of WA Merlot. 90/87.

1997 Guenoc, Meritage, Red Wine, North Coast, California, $20.75. A blend of 52% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Franc, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Malbec. The nose is defined by blackberries, cassis, spicy oak, and just a pinch of mint. Pretty black fruit and blueberry flavors are supported by sweet oak, middle weight tannins, and a long, brisk finish. 87/90.

1998 Kenwood, Merlot, Jack London Vineyard, Sonoma County, California, $30, 1,639 cases. Deep black fruit and mixed oak aromas are focused in this medium-bodied wine. Moderate but supple tannins support the lush, black cherry fruit. Toasty oak and dill notes round out the wine. The finish is long, fruity and crisp. 88/86.

1999 Owen’s Estate, Merlot, South Eastern Australia, $15, 3,200 cases. Richly colored. Mixed berry aromas have a dash of mint added for interest. Straightforward, tart black cherry fruit is supported by nice acidity. Somewhat coarse tannins dictate a couple of years in bottle. A Brown-Forman import. 83/85.

1998 Ste. Chapelle, Merlot, Winemaker’s Series, Idaho, $12, 1,800 cases. Pleasing blackberry and oak spice aromas and flavors are found in this light-bodied wine. Soft tannins and acidity dictate early consumption. 83/86.

1998 Sterling, Merlot, Central Coast, California, $13, 48,000 cases. The nose of cherry, olive and vanilla is followed by straightforward cherry fruit and light vanilla flavors, coarse tannins, and a tart finish. 83/85.

1998 Sterling, Merlot, Napa Valley, California, $22, 97,000 cases. A light to medium-body frames blackberry and black cherry fruit, sweet vanilla, cedar, and a sweet yet tart finish. 84/85.

1999 Tapiz, Merlot, Mendoza Region, Argentina, $8, 9,000 cases. Plum, cherry, vanilla and dill spice abound both on the nose and palate of this medium-bodied wine. Velvety tannins make it drinkable tonight with your favorite grilled beef dish. 84/90.


- cpurvis - 06-10-2001

psych, you won't always get an answer here that leaves ya' feelin' like a wine distributor just backed his truck up & said "figure out which one you'll like." Bucko apparently jus' had an urge to post a list [img][/img]

Merlot may or may not be the best place for you to start. It tends to be a full-bodied wine. However, those produced in the US are typically made for mass marketing & easy consumption.

My suggestion: go to a local wine store & ask the proprietor for suggestions. There are plenty of "tasty" reds under $10 (unless you just want to spend more).

After you've tried a couple, come back, tell us what you liked/disliked, & we can make further suggestions.

Cheers, cp