Tuesday, April 29, 2008


California 2006

x-fact ~ this wine is one of several from the same winery that brought you "two buck chuck."

bears' lair california merlot 2006
paid; it was a gift!!
reg. 4.99

i know, i know. ANOTHER gift!! again, my big sister brought me with this bottle along with the two buck chuck. i asked for this special, though, on a recommendation from my friend mis!

this is her house wine and she was interested to know what i thought of it.

well, i wish i could show you a label, but, as you might have guessed, many of the cheaper bottles don't have a lot to offer on the web in terms of pr and shelf talkers and reproducible labels.

but, it is a handsome bottle to be sure. in fact, out of all the cheap wines thus far this month, this is the best looking bottle by far.

and, i just realized this is the very first merlot i've reviewed! what's up with that? i LOVE merlot, and yet no merlot on the blog?

at first pour it's beautiful in the glass. deep and rich in color and with beautiful legs.

at first sip it is not smooth. it's got a real sting around the edges, the kind that envelops the sides of the tongue and creates a bit of salivating. oh sure, there's probably a term for that! but you know what i mean! right?

at second and third sip, though, it lost the sting and got a bit more jammy. more complex. but not in a big way, just slightly. and just right.

and then near the end of the first glass it really got its smooth on. it became light on the tongue, gained considerable sophistication, and practically floated down the throat. it's just delicious.

i think it was just the matter of a bit of warming in the glass, and it was really worth the wait.

again, what a delicious flavor.

this is a great wine for the price. it's really more than worth it.

it just needs a bit of time and patience.

which makes me think this would be perfect with a good meal. nothing real intense, like big salt or big spice or big hot, just something good.

a merlot is a subtle flavor that needs a subtle dish to really complement it.

but good lord we all know subtle does not mean boring. right?

a good long cooked risotto, or a simple but flavorful soup with bread and a salad, or a wonderful pork tenderloin with couscous and sauteed green beans on the side. how good do those sound?

i like this wine. i like how it smooths out and stays there. it's a wine that's easy to dismiss at the beginning, but ends up being completely enjoyable and immensely drinkable. all that with just a little patience.

and really, isn't that what we'd like in all things?

the idea that with a little effort and openness you can actually get everything you want?

at the very least, a good cheap wine.

however you measure it, it's the bees knees.

or the bears' lair.



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