Often the first sip of wine is just okay, or worse, disappointing, unclear, closed, or sharply astringent. With better wine, by the second of third sip, the wine opens up a bit, allowing its character to shine through. That's typically the point when one tilts the glass slightly in a bit of a toasting gesture, a smile appears, and the head nods. Hmmm, pretty good.
Every so often, things go differently. At first taste, it is immediately apparent that the 2003 Dry Creek Meritage is a rich, opulent wine in the tradition of Bordeaux, an obviously superb choice.
The wine prices out at $18.00-$35.00 US and (said it before) I've had a lot of wines costing twice as much that weren't half as good. If I were Robert Parker I'd lavish this wine with at least a 93 and maybe a 94. It's the wine FourPutt is looking for to impress his lady.
The 2003 Meritage is our first vintage incorporating Malbec into the blend. The addition of this varietal adds additional layers of depth and complexity to this stylish and elegant wine. The aromas begin with ripe black cherry and finish with vanilla and a hint of mocha. On the palate, bright currant and plum flavors lead to cedar and tobacco notes. This wine is seamless and well-integrated from beginning to end and should age and develop beautifully for several years to come.
Nothing much to add to that, except to say, it's a great wine, worthy of a special occasion, like New Year's Eve, where we paired it (and a '97 Phelps Cab) with herb crusted prime rib (garlic, sea salt, thyme, pepper, & sage), fresh asparagus, baked sweet potato, & baked potato with chives from the Casa de las Rocas Grandes herb garden.
I loved the wine. You will too. The Phelps Cab was an excellent choice as well. We'll write that up too.
Oh? You noticed that cool glass? Story for another day. Soon.