2017 Cannonball Merlot, Sonoma County, USA (750ml)
Medium ruby in color showing a bouquet of cherry and black tea accented by subtle sweet vanilla French oak and a fetching blueberry compote note. The palate is generous and soft on approach, leading with supple cherry fruit and transitioning to richer boysenberry flavors on the mid-palate where the medium-firm tannins, caramel, and notes of clove and black pepper come into play. The vintage’s fresh acidity lends structure to this silky expression of Merlot leaving a lingering, savory finish.
A huge value, this wine proves Merlot is back: It’s equal parts smooth, rich, and juicy, with a luscious, ripe, and beautifully balanced palate. Deep and neatly structured with nice hints of sweet berries.
Tasting Panel, 90 pts.
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