Bonterra, Merlot (organic), Mendocino County (not an AVA, though Mendocino and Mendocino Ridge both are), California, USA, 2013
Seven months ageing in 45% new French and US oak; predominantly merlot, with petite syrah (aka durif), syrah, and carignan, natural cork closure, 14.5% abv, Waitrose, ~ £10
WSET style tasting note
Appearance – clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose – clean on the nose, pronounced intensity, youthful, with slightly high-toned rich ripe aromas of red plum, spicy red cherry, red currant, black cherry, a low-key woody note and a whiff of sweet tobacco.
Palate – a dry wine, medium (+) acidity, fine-grained medium tannins, medium (+) alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth texture, with flavours of red plum juice, black berry and red and black cherry boiled sweets. A medium (+) length with a clean moderately grippy spicy cherry and red plum finish.
Quality – a very good quality wine, rich ripe fruit driven with evidence of oak exposure, with acidity and tannins giving balanced structure to the intense concentrated flavour palette. A wine of little complexity, but well made, designed for early consumption, with a longish length.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: ready to drink now, with no ageing potential.