Monday, February 8, 2010

Fransican Merlot 2004... 3 Liter

This bottle definitely turned the heads of my friends!  A great looking label and bottle doesn't do much for me though, I need to find out what's going on inside the bottle.  I was determined to try this wine, since I was told it may not last much longer, and so I began hacking away at the big wax covering the cork.  After about 10 minutes of using improper wax removal tools, I finally got to the cork... I think they used a whole cork tree on this one!  After making our "Big Cork" jokes, I was finally ready to try the wine...

Right out of the glass I could tell it was going to need some time to breathe, but I gave it a try anyway.  Sure enough, it was dry and tannic, in fact it was very tannic.  This made me question if I had made the right decision in opening the bottle in it's 5th year of development, but I believe I made the right choice.  It seemed like it was going to open up very nicely, so I remained patient as the game went on.

As the wine opened up throughout the evening, right around the middle of the second quarter, I enjoyed the big soft Merlot fruit that came through in every sip, surely a well made wine, but I noticed that the tannins were still very pronounced.  I was hoping that they would have softened up as time went on, but it seems that they are just a part of this wine.  If I had to guess, I would say that this wine definitely stayed in contact with stems and leaves for a bit longer than it was intended, or at least longer than I can appreciate in a Merlot.  Now with food, it was fine, and complemented the Cheese and Artichoke Dip rather well, but to stand alone the tannins were quite overpowering.

I am glad I was the only one to try the wine, because I don't think the others would have been able to appreciate the good merlot fruit, which it did display, through the mouth drying tannins that were practically unavoidable.

Now this bottle of merlot usually sells as  a 750ml for about $20, and I think there are much easier drinking merlots that show similar fruit for less.  So as I grade this wine, I will have to give it a NO GO, it is just Not Able!

Thank you for reading, I look forward to your comments and suggestions!

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