An awesome tweet-up I participated online the other night showcased Merlot's from the State of Washington (more like required). These are great events to participate in because a.) you drink a wine most likely new to your routine b.) you meet a ton of new folks drinking the same varietals both here and sometime abroad with new friendships struck up c.) wineries participate and you get to experience meeting all those folks, introduced to their wines and chat with them as well. I've always said and will never waiver, wine folks regardless of tasting room, winemaker, vineyard manager, marketing or owner these folks are the most friendly people on the earth (I'm sure I've asked enough dumb questions in my day but they never laughed thank god).
My friend Matt at Benz Beverage Depot http://www.benzbeveragedepot.com/ suggested my Merlot selection for the evening. The 2008 Velvet Devil from Charles Smith Wines who by the way (Charles Smith) was voted the 2009 Food and Wine Winemaker of The Year. We all know the bad rap Merlot received from the movie Sideways so I won't repeat it but yours truly even before watching the movie never found a merlot I fell nuts over. The Velvet Devil I did and now I want to experience more great Merlots like this one.
My friend Matt H down in Florida who for followers of twitter know him as MMWine http://agoodtimewithwine.com/ suggested I let this baby breathe for 30 minutes. Good suggestion Matt as when I first opened the bottle the smoke aroma hit me like a brick. After 30 minutes the smokey aroma subsided and fainted allowing the nose to pick up other great scents. Hey there is some plum, dark berry almost a deep black raspberry, vanilla, spice. My wife and daughter smelled and they described as "potent" (wine folks are laughing uncontrolled at this point). I must have had the "what the hell" look on my face as they said have fun and retired to watch one of their Thursday night programs.
Ok taste furious twitter post, taste, more twitter posts, read..... you get the picture. But how was the wine? Best damn Merlot I have ever tasted. Once in the mouth a nice dark berry flavor (also the wine is dark purple), spice follows and then a slight vanilla flavor at the finish. I would have sworn this wine was going to over power me but man was I wrong. Smooth and silky but a huge flavor throughout. No wonder Charles Smith won Winemaker Of The Year. Something tells me all his other selections are just as good. Happy Merlot drinking friends.
PS: Thanks Josh (nectarwine) for organizing this outstanding event.