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Merlots (that are actually good!) under $20


djsexyb
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my girlfriend cut me a article out of her neighborhood paper the other day because she knows im a wine freak, from the northwest news herald in schaumburg i think...

it was a blind tasting the authors did for merlots under $20. they said that they usuually tell their readers to completely ignore the category and jump for the pricier merlots becausr they lack any distinction, but they were going to try again. to make a long story short, here were the three stand outs (out of fifty!) one was expected, two were quite surprising...

Francis Coppola Merlot...they siad it was easily the best with a distinction of place, etc ,etc (i have to add that there is 8% syrah blended in).

Hogue Genesis Columbia Valley Merlot...also very nice, distinction of place, etc, etc (surprisingly 12% Lemberger is blended in)

and the one that blew my mind....

Gallo Family Vineyards Sononma Reserve Merlot...they said that after they were done with the blind tasting (and before they took all the bags off the see what wines were what) they went back to this wine time and agian untill the two of them finished the bottle it was so good with "brioche tones in the aroma, ripe pie crust, fresh berry taste, good concertration, little oak and nice, gentle tannins...we couldnt get enough of this!"

wow, for $15 im going to have to run to binny;s asap.....

Grand Cru Productions

Private High End Dinners and Personal Chef Service

in Chicago, Illinois

For more information email me at:

grandcruproductions@hotmail.com

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mike

i believe the year on the gallo was a 2002, perhaprs 2003, whichever year was the first year that they used the new Gallo Family Vineyards label. (ps..there's also an article about these wines in the Wine Magazine's Quarterly Reviewof Wines)

brad

not sure, i may have been, i wish i coould find that article, but cant. the only other details i remeber is that the two reviewers were a african women with really short hair and an mid 50s looking white guy with glasses...

cathyrn

Coppola is currently in the process of replanting and acquiring more landholdings (old inglenook holdings) so, in my opinion, their focus has been a little lacking in the actual wine making department. however, in the future the wines are going to get exponentially better (not like they're anything to scoff at now, though). i havent had alot of exposure to the diamond series but as for their pricier wines--reds, the rubicon is excellent as well as the cask cabernet, and estate-bottled cab franc is quite nice. and as for whites the blancaneaux blend i have never tried, but i hear it just ho-hum...

Grand Cru Productions

Private High End Dinners and Personal Chef Service

in Chicago, Illinois

For more information email me at:

grandcruproductions@hotmail.com

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Actually, I find that the best Merlots in that price range come from Chile. I'd suggest trying the Casa Lapostolle Colchagua Valley Cuvée Alexandre and Concha y Toro Peumo Marqués de Casa Concha. Veramonte also makes some nice ones in that price range too. Chateau Ste. Michelle also makes a nice Merlot in that price range if you want something from the US.

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mike

i believe the year on the gallo was a 2002, perhaprs 2003, whichever year was the first year that they used the new Gallo Family Vineyards label. (ps..there's also an article about these wines in the Wine Magazine's Quarterly Reviewof Wines)

brad

not sure, i may have been, i wish i coould find that article, but cant. the only other details i remeber is that the two reviewers were a african women with really short hair and an mid 50s looking white guy with glasses...

cathyrn

Coppola is currently in the process of replanting and acquiring more landholdings (old inglenook holdings) so, in my opinion, their focus has been a little lacking in the actual wine making department. however, in the future the wines are going to get exponentially better (not like they're anything to scoff at now, though). i havent had alot of exposure to the diamond series but as for their pricier wines--reds, the rubicon is excellent as well as the cask cabernet, and estate-bottled cab franc is quite nice. and as for whites the blancaneaux blend i have never tried, but i hear it just ho-hum...

The authors you describe are definitely the duo (married) from the Wall Street Journal.

John and Dorothy (Brecher --I believe).

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