La Terre Merlot

La Terre MerlotLa Terre Merlot

(no vintage) California $4.24 for 750 ml

(Red Wine)

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.

wine’s website:  couldn’t find

June 2012 Update:  While traveling a few weeks ago in the South Pacific, I happened upon a newer version of this wine!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!

 

 

35 Responses to “La Terre Merlot”


  • well, whoever wrote this review is obviously a douche-bag and I’m assuming a snobby bitch. My reply will probably never be published since this is probably his site but I’ll reply anyhow. To the average wine drinker or the not so snobby jerk that this guy is, this wine actually pretty damn good. Seriously, if you can find a 750ml bottle of this for $4.24 like the douche-bag writer suggests you will be seriously impressed. I drink a couple glasses of red wine every day and had my first glass of this last night at Toby Keith’s Bar and Grill in Mesa, Arizona and I couldn’t believe how excellent this wine tasted. This jerk has no idea what he is talking about. **!

    —————————————-

    Thanks for your impassioned perspective on the matter, McFye! I could do without the repeated reference to certain female hygienic tools (or are you referring a portable French shower?), but in any case, Anti Wine Snob is committed to telling it like it is.

    ……….AWS

  • I was given this on a cruise on Norwegian complimentary. Not even my girlfriend will drink this stuff. I am a broke college student, and I would have chosen never tasting this over receiving it for free. Worse than a 6 pack of bud, but for 4.24, if you drink it alone, it probably is a little better value.

    ~Matt

  • I had a glass of this wine and LOVED IT !!! Can someone tell me where i can buy it???

  • loved it period !!

  • Served to our goup at the Renaissance Hotel in Charlotte, NC. Enjoyed so much that we ordered another bottle. It’s the perfect 2nd>3rd>4th bottle for your upcoming Holiday events.

  • I had it last night at a bar in Burbank, Ca. (The Office) and it’s pretty damn good. If you say it’s 4.24 per bottle, I’m buying a case.
    BTW, Mr. Anti Wine Snob, you are NOT a douche-bag, you just happen to have different taste buds than us who like it. :-)

    ………………

    Thanks OG! What you say is true: everyone has different tastes, which is why I love to see the comments posted here. And I hope you can find the wine for this price — I have not bought a bottle since my original post, so I’ve no idea what it is selling for now. Perhaps you can leave an update.

    ……..AWS

  • There is only one jerk in this thread and it is not the original author.

    I like bargain wines and have tried almost all those off safeways bottom shelf. I even enjoy traders two buck cab (though this years wines don’t seem to be as good as last). I fully agree with the author and didn’t like this wine at all. It was very thin and the taste was off.

  • Thats a great article, thanks for posting it. I’ve bookmarked your website and will look forward to reading more!

  • I had this wine in a restaurant tonight and came home to find out
    about it. It must be one of the Gallo names because Google can’t
    find any such winery. I was served a complimentary glass of this
    stuff and could not begin to drink it.

  • I received this bottle of wine on a cruise as a gift. I took it to a dinner party and everyone loved it! I only drink red wines but honeslty I could not tell you the difference between a 5.00 bottle and a 100.00 bottle. I thought this wine was great! I would def. buy it and I was delighted to find out it was as inexpensive as it was. Although, now that i know the price I could not believe how cheap the cruise line was being when it gave us the gift,lol.

  • Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Is again – taking you feeds also,Thanks.

  • Hi there! It’s a slow day today at home and I have time to browse around. I was just searching around on Google and found your website. I love it, it’s informative and I love the way you write your articles. Unquestionably a nice surprise and I’m glad Google pointed into your direction. Take Care!

  • I just stumbled on this site as I looked up the La Terre Merlot, a bottle of which I just received at a friend’s retirement party. He had special bottles made and the label states it is from La Terre.

    Unlike the first critic, I am not going to use juvenile comments to make a point. I am keeping an open mind for when I try the wine. I love wine and enjoy all types, from the bargain basement to the higher end (if I can get them half off on special nights at one of the my favorite restaurants).

    I appreciate your candid assessment and the fact you have readers who are classy enough to defend you even though they disagree with you. Very nice.

    Cheers!

  • I also was given this bottle of wine.. man this was bad.. very bad i would never drink this again. and they also gave us 2 bottles on NCL. this will just sit and collect dust.

  • I got this wine as a gift due to a screw up where my booking agent neglected to set up my order for my complimentary bottle of win to help me celebrate my birthday. It is still unopened in year two as I just celebrated my birthday…I was wondering how long I could keep this bottle…since I prefer whites and blushes over red and I am fearful I might not be able to get my nose past it…so my bottle sits unopened for the 2nd year…The bottle is so beautiful I just can’t bring myself to open it, because unlike my friends I cannot polish off a bottle of wine at a time…alone!

  • le terre is an “on-premise only” wine from constellation wines, the parent company of woodbridge, and robert mondavi. it is intended for resturants only!, and should not be made available in retail shops

    ****

    Hi John,

    I was noticing your spelling of the wine in question, specifically, that you reference it as “Le Terre.” The wine reviewed by AWS is entitled “La Terre” and could very well be an entirely different brand. Actually, this would explain the rather polarized reviews on this particular wine, as well as your comment regarding the on-premise designation. I’ll have to do some sleuthing on this, but if you find anything out in the meantime, let AWS know!

    AWS

  • John is right about everything except the name–it is, indeed, La Terre. Here is more info:
    http://www.cwine.com/export/sites/cwine/cwine/pdf/brandstandards/LaTerre_BRS.pdf

  • Anybody who says they liked this crap obviously works for the distributor who is selling it! I would rather drink my own urine than submit myself to the damage this juice did to my palate another time. We should send a few thousand gallons to the Taliban and we would surely be able to pull out of the war on schedule because our enemies would all be projectile vomitting. La Terre tastes like terds wrapped in burt hair… hey that even rhymes!

  • I just bought 12 bottles of this wine at UETA (Duty free store), $2.50 ea., not tasted yet, but also not expecting the best wine for this price. After all the posts in the site, I can’t wait to have my own experience.

  • Got a bottle of this from my girlfriend’s parents, who got it at a dinner party. It is dreadful stuff. I think it is worth only the price I paid for it, and nothing more. You can do a lot better with your five dollars, like putting them with two more and buying something drinkable.

  • What John said above is true…I was served La Terre Merlot at a restaurant and loved it, but couldn’t buy it at my local liquor store. I discovered that it is only sold to restaurants. I own a restaurant,
    so I am able to buy it through my restaurant…and I have bought many
    cases for the house…I LOVE this Merlot!

  • I was given this on a cruise on Norwegian complimentary.Boy were Norwegian big spenders. My old antfreeze smells better than this stuff. I would have chosen never tasting this over receiving it for free. The worse thing about this crap was when we took it to dinner on the ship we had to pay a $10 uncorking fee to have it open at the table. After one sip we had to have it removed from the table. It was stinking up the place. It was worse than a week old flat stag beer, But for 1.98 at some online stores and 4.98 here it would be a cut below MD 60 or riple, if you were drink it alone next to a dumster it probably would meet that type of drinkers standards if they had any.
    Routgut

  • Had a bottle of this with dinner at Tahoe Joe’s tonight… Found this website when got home & googled la Terra Merlot. TJ’s wine list was not only limited… But priced by the glass! Our host teetered wavered between a bottle of Valley of the Moon Zin and TJ’s House Red. Whenthe waitress said it was La Terra merlot FROM Madera, I thought OMG MADERA?????? NOOOOOOOOO WAAAA!! but being a good guest I kept my mouth shut) My frst sip impression was waaaaaaaay too skinny… However midway through our meal it grew enough legs to become pleasantly acceptable. As we were leaving I asked the waitress the bottle price: $19 ( I’m guessing that equates to $5 or $6 a bottle…. IF you could find in a retail store… Which is highly unlikely… in view of comments above I suspect it is a blended wine sold through wholesale distributors to commercial establishments.(hotels, chain restaurants cruise lines etc..)

    Definitely will bookmark this website!!

    I would love to see a review here of the following wines: Cycles Gladiator Merlot and also Challis Lane’s Zinfandel and their Merlot.

  • Bonefish Grill uses this as their house wine & I find it very very worthy of a hig brow tasteing wine @ a reasonable price. I love it really

  • Bonefish Grill uses this as their house wine & I find it very very worthy of a high brow tasteing wine @ a reasonable price. I love it really

  • I’ve tried this wine once. I thought it was just okay. Not spectacular by any means. Pretty thin and almost vinegary. With regards to John’s comments and Tes’s link above about it being a “premise only” wine, I can say that I have seen it in numerous numerous numerous stores all over the place. I’ve even seen it in Apia Samoa. Maybe it’s only being marketed to the “on premise” segment, but it’s being sold to the “take it home for a taste and regret your purchase” segment.

  • Jeezus people why not $3 buck chuck at Trader Joes? (used to be $2 buck). Or Oak Creek. It’s all cheap stuff. Cleveland rocks with good wine……

  • I had this wine last night, La terre – Merlot, at a japanese resto, we took it because the price was right ($18 for a bottle), I am french and the wine is right, really not bad compare to certain more well known wines and more pricey. Nothing bad to say about it. I do think the person who make the comment as a wine critic, should changes job, i do not think his “papilles” are right for the job.

  • We were given this several times on a NCL cruise. It’s more drinkable than a Coor’Light but since that is absolutely undrinkable it doesn’t say much for the La Terre. I would not want to actually pay for this stuff.

  • I’ve had this wine twice. The first time it was rather good, the second time I couldn’t finish the glass! I believe the stark difference is with my dinner choice. Prime Rib cooked medium brought out some great flavors with the first glass. Pizza with the second glass was uhm … a huge mistake. Nasty even. Maybe this is one reason for the polarized reviews!? I’ll try it once more with a nice steak.

  • We had this at a birthday party at a golf course in Northern California. It was free as was the open bar. At first, before any food, it was not bad – very smooth but not much character, depth or complexity and a little light-bodied for a Merlot. But, it was free and it wasn’t offensive.

    However, as appetizers and a chip & dip table became available, it was less smooth – a little harsh.

    By the time we had a 2nd glass, it was, definitely, not a good red wine.

    We may have had a similar experience to Frank WT involving food being involved.

    jq

  • I had couple glasses of La Terre-Merlot last night with some friends so we enjoy it a lot, we requested the hold bottle for the rest of the dinner, is a good taste considering that is not an expensive wine,… I will drink it again and again…I love it!

  • Ignorance is bliss -
    Now, I am not saying that people who love this wine are ignorant (I certainly have my bargain basement favorites), but the fact is the more experiences a person has with truly outstanding wines (stuff that was made at a single estate an artisan winemaker, not in the vat of a giant factory) the more wines like La Terre, CK Mondavi, Woodbridge, Yellowtail, etc. will just leave you underwhelmed. Of course, if you don’t know any better…
    Quick parable – An old man and his wife sat watching the sunset on their porch. The old woman picked up her cane and lifting it high, smacked the old man squarely on the shoulder. “That’s for 50 years of bad sex!,” she exclaimed. The old man looked hurt at first, then puzzled. Lifting his own cane, he swiftly drilled her on top of the head. “THAT’S FOR KNOWING THE DIFFERENCE!,” he replied.
    Cheers! to knowing the difference.
    -DM

    *****
    That sounds great DM, but are you sure you really can tell a big difference? You might like to check out this article, where researchers found that even professional oenologists in training could be fooled into thinking cheap wine was wonderful simply by putting it into an expensive bottle. These folks, who one would assume should perhaps “Know the difference,” couldn’t even tell white wine from red when dye was added.

    Perhaps, you are the exception and like the lady in your parable, truly “Know the difference,” but if you’ve been buying expensive wines thinking you are getting something inherently better, well then I suspect the only thing you really have in common with her is that you’ve both been screwed a lot.

    …AWS

  • Just bought a bottle of La Terre cabernet in China. Guess China is the only place they could unload this stuff,absolutely awful!! Probably the worst bottle of wine I’ve ever tasted. Some may say it has a hint of pine, I’d call it”turpentine”!! Should be against the law to sell this sh**!
    Granted it was cheap, but still no fun to have to pour it down the drain. If they want to increase overall wine sells to China this sure isn’t the way to go about it.

  • WOW——–
    What a range of opinions——
    I had one glass of La Terre Merlot at a private party with good company in a beautiful room with a fire in a beautiful fireplace. I have been looking for this wine and can not find it anywhere——Now I wonder what it was that made me think this wine was very good. I’m usually a good judge of red wine so I will keep looking and when I find it I will drink it in a dark room with no ambience——Then I’ll let you know.

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