2016 Cycles Gladiator Merlot, Central Coast, USA (750ml)
The nose is pretty complex with notes of black cherry, tea leaf, and cedar aromatics. Broad entry flavors of dark fruits, plums,blackberry, and cherry. The mid-palate continues with cherry followed by dusty tannins from the Cabernet. A firm thread of acidity lifts the fruit and keeps it on the tongue well into the finish. This is a very sturdy Merlot that would pair well with traditional Cabernet dishes like steak, but also pairs well with a rich Italian tomato based pasta or meat dish. Lamb's gamey/savory notes of the meat would be enhanced by the berry notes and crisp acidity of the wine.
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