Wine Thoughts: Sullivan Merlot 2011

I am really not a huge Merlot fan. It's just not my thing. I hate to be grape-ist like that as each grape and each harvest is unique, but the reality is that, historically, Merlot and I have just not been best buds. While usually drinkable, it is not something I actively seek out to add to our drinking repertoire. So on a recent and random Tuesday night, we broke out a 2011 Sullivan Merlot, because why not? Our reasoning: "It’s a Merlot and we probably won't really like it. It’s not like we’re gonna want it later." Wrong! I would recommend this wine to any Cab lover out there. It was really delicious, like "oh wow, uh-oh, what did we open, did we open the wrong bottle" delicious. It will make you rethink Merlot and even, potentially, give this poor grape a second chance. My thoughts are below, but I'd love to hear from you. Have you had this wine before? Did you like it? Love it? Hate it? Dollars: $60 Eyes: A mix of deep, rich red and dark purple Nose: Raspberries, spices, plums, and dark chocolate (kind of like one of those chocolate cakes you get at fancy restaurants that hand make everything from scratch including the fresh raspberry sauce delicately poured on top). Mouth: Incredibly smooth. Bold and layered, much as I would expect from a Cab, but with the punchier fruit layers reminiscent of a Zin. It lingers, but in a good way, not the annoying-person-at-the-end-of-the-party-who-won’t-leave-even-after-a-million-incredibly-obvious-hints-and-is-really-getting-on-your-nerves way. It coats the tongue in chocolate and stone fruit and hangs out long after you swallow, giving you time to unwrap the flavor layers. Looking back, I'm kind of wishing I had had one of those raspberry chocolate cakes to eat while sipping on this. It would have made those flavors soar! Rating: 4 ½ stars Bottom Line: Fantastic Merlot that I would buy again. Less than 5 stars because I needed a little more bang for that kind of buck. That said, I should really purchase another bottle to keep around for other Merlot naysayers in my life to experience.
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