Snoqualmie Naked Merlot 2006

Snoqualmie Naked Merlot 2006

Wine:  Snoqualmie Naked Merlot 2006

Price: $13.99

Region: Columbia Valley, Washington State

Grape Variety: Merlot

Purchased: Surdyk’s Wine & Liquor, Minneapolis, MN

I think it may have been the “Naked” in the label that made me look at this wine, but it turns out that had more to do with it containing organic grapes than the clothing choice of the winegrowing team. No matter, it’s a very good wine, regardless the origin of the grapes.  This particular wine had a dark red appearance, and when swirled in the glass it had pronounced legs.  I’m not sure if that tells us much, but it was a favorite test of our friend Tom Lorentz, so I just have to do it for fun every time.  The nose  was bright, with the aroma of dark cherries.  When we tasted the wine, I was quite surprised to suddenly have a hit of leather with my stone fruit.  I just didn’t expect that at all, and it shocked me at first.  The mouthfeel was dry, with medium tannins, and I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it.  My opinion changed markedly, though, when I sampled another taste after the first bite of our meal.  Cath fixed a delicious pork tenderloin with pomegranate-cherry sauce, and the wine just seemed to open up when the two were combined.  At that point the tannins softened markedly, and the fruit flavor really came forward.  The finish was relatively warm, and while it wasn’t lengthy by any means the overall feel was quite good.  I don’t know if I could recommend this wine for sipping alone, but when combined with the meal I thought it was quite nice.  In all, I’d classify it a winner.

Like much of the wine we drink, we found this wine at the 2009 fall wine sale at Surdyks in Minneapolis, at a very reasonable cost.

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