(no vintage) California $4.24 for 750 ml
What’s in a name? Well, if the name is “earthy,” there are certain expectations that accompany it. Earthy should mean rich and layered. Maybe a little thick and with round, dusty flavors. And when you name a red wine “earthy”, but in French, well, then, you’ve really upped the ante. It just seems that much more poetic, right? At least, that’s probably what the goal was.
Despite my hopes for this inexpensive Merlot hailing from Woodbridge, California, I was quickly let down by the first whiff of La Terre Merlot’s ascetic acid and nail polish remover fumes. Sharp, sickly sweet-sour and without any depth of flavor, this wine has no redeeming qualities that I can think of.
I’d say that maybe it was just a bad year, but since it doesn’t have a vintage, I can’t really blame it on that, either.
Now, to be fair, I tasted La Terre Merlot with a fellow wine drinker who admittedly does not share my acute dislike for any hint of ascetic acid flavor. To him, the wine tasted “okay” but that was about as positive as the tasting notes got. For me, I downright disliked it and truly, I can’t even offer a description of fruit or woody or any other common flavors as I was simply overwhelmed by the sharp, ascetic acid domination.
June 2012 Update: While traveling a few weeks ago in the South Pacific, I happened upon a newer version of this wine! I couldn’t resist taking a picture. Who would have expected to find it — probably one out of a total of 20 brands altogether — at a store in Samoa!