J Lohr, Merlot, Los Osos Estates, Paso Robles, California, 2010
Combination cork with Diam style agglomerate centre piece, capped top and bottom with a 3mm cork disc (known, logically, as a 1+1 technical cork), 13.5% abv, Anne et Vin, about £17
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose: clean on the nose, of medium intensity, developing, with an opening aroma of slightly high-toned black fruit – blackberry, then over-ripe black plum, warm dried currants, a whiff of red cherry jam, and a hint of wood.
Palate: a dry wine, with medium acidity, smooth, ripe yet grippy medium (+) tannins, medium (+) alcohol and a medium (+) body, of medium (+) intensity, with a smooth texture, and flavours of sweet ripe black berry, black cherry, black fruit boiled sweets, and dried black cherries and currants. A medium (+) length with a clean ripe black berry then currant infused finish.
Quality: a very good quality wine, with fruit intensity in balance with acidity and tannin, though alcohol is marginally on the high side. Higher intensity on palate than nose, the rich, ripe flavours, of modest complexity, have nevertheless a good level of concentration, and are showing some tertiary development, with rich, dried fruit notes. A wine that is ready to drink now, and which will improve in cellar over 3-5 years.