2010 Cosentino Winery Bottle Select Merlot

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We are counting down the days to our ten day vacation in the Valley’s (Napa and Sonoma).  Our friends Rich and Lois left Wednesday morning and are traveling by vehicle so that they can see the country side.  They have not been west and driving is the best way to see the sights.

Chris and I started packing on Tuesday night so we did not have to scramble Thursday.  Wednesday we have a wine dinner and the kids are coming over Thursday night for dinner.  Chris was winding down and wanted to have a beverage while she packed and I was feeling like a glass of wine that would pair nicely with our dinner.

I wandered down to the cellar and started looking.  It had been some time since we had a Merlot so that was my selection.  I considered many options including Pine Ridge, Shafer, Pahlmeyer and others, but ultimately chose the 2010 Cosentino Winery Bottle Select Merlot.

The Merlot reminded me of our May Napa trip last year and our tasting at Cosentino Winery.

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Cosentino started a new program Grand Vin Barrel Tasting Program.  It is an awesome setting and beautiful use of the barrel room!  We were able to experience an intimate anniversary gathering with good friends!  The ambiance was comfortable and relaxed and it was a terrific way to celebrate.  The entire staff was extremely accommodating while we were offered a wide variety of wines that paired beautifully with the foods they served.  This is a valuable benefit for wine club members.  It is a very unique atmosphere from other wineries tastings in the area.  The memories created on our special day will be hard to beat!  The hospitality of Cosentino was appreciated!

The Grand Vin Barrel Tasting program offers members two tasting options.  The Premier Cru and Grand Cru.

The Premier Cru is available to fine wine enthusiasts that take pleasure in the relaxing side of wine country.  A guided tasting and tour that showcases barrel-select, premium wines paired with a concise barrel education. Following this portion of the tasting, look forward to an special flight from the Cosentino Reserve portfolio seated at the grand table in our Barrel Room.

The Grand Cru is for guests that dream of crafting a 100-point wine of their own will benefit from this extended tasting and tour.  A tasting of ultra-premium wines is expertly paired with a detailed seminar to strengthen your knowledge of wine and cooperage.  An exclusive flight of wines from the Cosentino Reserve portfolio will be served alongside an array of specialty cheeses and savory charcuterie to conclude this 90-minute tasting experience.

We chose the Grand Cru experience.   The tasting was hosted by Cosentino winery’s expert Cellar Master, Steve Ross.  He was very knowledgeable and guided us through the barrel making process; wile showing us how the oak is selected, prepared and toasted.   After the short presentation we were able to sample a few special limited release private barrel selections.  There were four reserve barrels at the time, Merlot, two barrels of Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon to be blended and a Chardonnay.  After all was said and done we purchased a case of the private barrel wines.

Back to packing and the wine…

Before Chris started packing I pulled the cork and pour us a glass of wine.  Once she had a majority of her packing done, she decided to start dinner.  Earlier she had taken a steak and shrimp out and planed to have it with a caprese style salad for dinner.

It was time to take some tasting notes because it was almost time to eat.

Sight
Deep color depth with a nice garnet hue.

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Smell
The Merlot was very aromatic and youthful-fruity.  I noted blueberry, blackberry, oak, vanilla, and slight caramel.

Taste
It was dry with my initial tastes.  It was full-bodied and the acidity was right on, my mouth watered!  The tannins were medium, soft, and did not overwhelm the wine.   As I tried my initial sips I could feel the wine in my mid palate.  It was slightly dry initially but the finish was silky and it was very flavorful.  It was hard to pick a dominant fruit.  It kind of tasted like a Cabernet Sauvignon initially.  As the wine sat in the glass it did soften and was very good.  The finish was long.

abv: 14.5%

More on the wine.  This Merlot fruit came from the Provost Vineyard in the Los Carneros AVA in southern Napa.  The Los Carneros region has a cooler climate and is known for this Bordeaux style varietal.  Because of the exposure to the cooler weather the growing season is longer than the northern part of Napa like St Helena for example.

How much: $50

We rated the 2010 Cosentino Winery Bottle Select Merlot four glasses.  As the Merlot was exposed to air and my swirling it opened up very nice.  When I open the next bottle I plan on decanting it.

In Vino Veritas!

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Twitter: @BillsWineWander

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