Tag Archive for 'Merlot'

JackaRoo Big Red (Cabernet, Merlot and Shiraz blend)

Jackaroo Big RedJackaRoo Big Red
2003, SE Australia, $7.35 for 750 ml
(49% Cab, 44% Shiraz, 7% Merlot)
(Red Wine)

According to my Google search, “Jackaroo” is an Australian term for an apprentice on a cattle station or ranch…. Well, that makes me want to say something cutesy involving Australian slang and barbecue, but I shall refrain from doing so. You’re welcome.

In short, “Big Red” is a good description for this JackaRoo wine. While it doesn’t have a lot of depth, it is full of easygoing, juicy, round flavors, and it also has a good dose of tannins that save the wine from simply tasting like a fat, fermented grape.

The tasting notes cite flavors of blackberry, spicy aromas and a hint of vanilla oak. The Big Red did have a plump, berryness that I can see described as blackberry, and I did get the vanilla oak flavor (more oak than vanilla), but honestly, I would never describe the aroma of this wine as “spicy.” It just isn’t.

While I would have said that this wine was okay (not great, but okay), unfortunately, my Big Red had an undercurrent of unpleasant spoiled, nutty flavors that tasted as though it had not been properly sealed. In other words, it tasted oxidized. I don’t know if this is a problem with all JackaRoo Big Reds, or just a flaw in the bottling that I happened upon.

Bottom line? While the JackaRoo has potential, the flavors I found were ruined by the funky, old taste of oxidization. For the price, I have found other wines that have a bit more depth and taste much fresher. Sorry, apprentice. I think you’re fired.

wine’s website: couldn’t find

Calina Reserva Merlot

Calina Reserva MerlotCalina Reserva Merlot

2006 Valle Del Maule, Chile. $8.00 for 750 ml
(Red Wine)

Oh, my goodness. This Merlot is sip-licious.

And, thank heavens–I was beginning to get worried as I’ve had to post some rather negative reviews lately, but this wine has restored my faith in inexpensive grape juice.

The Calina Reserva Merlot is a luscious, dark red-purple nectar with a round, full-bodied balance of juicy blackberryness, firm tannins and a perfect bite of acidity.

Yum.

This one’s great to sip on its own or with dinner. And, the bottle is pretty.

I liked this wine so much that I decided to take a little field trip to its website. In addition to providing some helpful information on all of their wines, the site also has a fun, interactive diagram that illustrates the wine making process. If you’re new to wine, you might want to check it out. The site is simple and friendly.

Bottom line? Loved it. Even if you’re one of those folks who typically eschew Merlot, I would recommend you give the Calina Reserva a try and see what you think. Who knows? You might be converted.

wine’s website: www.calina.com

Camelot 2003 Merlot

Camelot Merlot WineCamelot Merlot
2003 Santa Rosa, California $7.05 for 750 ml (Red Wine)

This Merlot’s got sass. And … something that rhymes with it.

Meaning, this Merlot’s no wallflower just wanting to be casually enjoyed. Nope. This Merlot’s got a lot going on. And, it’s gonna slap your face if you don’t pay it some respect. Rightfully so.

When I first poured the Camelot Merlot and gave it the sniff test, I thought it smelled mellow and slightly sweet.

When I tasted it, those famous round, smooth, lighter-on-the-acid Merlot flavors came flowing through. But the tannins gave a nice grip to it so that an otherwise easy-going wine became a bit more attention getting. Also—and this is what I found most interesting–it had a pleasant, spicy kick that was a bit unusual. I even checked the bottle’s label to make sure it was a Merlot. I really did.

My friend who tasted this wine with me thought there were milk-chocolaty undertones to this beverage as well, but, to be honest, I didn’t quite get that. Nonetheless, to pay homage to my friend’s sacrificing an evening to taste test with me, I thought I would put those notes in there. Who knows? You might find those chocolaty flavors, too. And if you do, I envy you. After all, what’s better than combining chocolate with red wine? (No dirty thoughts allowed.)

Bottom line, I thought this was a righteous drink. I enjoyed it and would get it again.

wine’s website: www.camelotwines.com

HRM Rex Goliath Giant 47 Pound Rooster Merlot

HRM Rex Goliath Giant 47 Pound Rooster Merlot¿Free Range?

HRM Rex Goliath Giant 47 Pound Rooster Merlot

Monterey County, California (no vintage) $7.55 for 750 ml
(Red Wine)

For such a long-winded and whimsical name, I expected something … interesting, I guess.

It wasn’t.

Don’t get me wrong: this wine is not bad, but, for lack of a better word, I’d call it a bit boring.

Which I don’t like to do; I usually find something interesting in almost everything. But the flavor tasted kind of bland and it really didn’t have much personality to it. It wasn’t unpleasant; in fact, I’m sure a lot of people might enjoy sipping on this while they socialize or watch a movie or something. I mean, it wouldn’t be bad for that kind of thing as the flavors would certainly not be demanding or distracting.

My general impression of this wine surprised me as it appears to have won many awards from 2003 and 2004 (no mention on their website of more recent awards). I don’t know; maybe I was having an off taste bud day or something, because the website mentions the wine’s “good seam of acidity” and a “decidedly spicy nose of cherry, cassis and cedar”…???

Maybe so, but I didn’t quit get that. In fact, this wine seemed anything but spicy to me. It seemed pretty low on the acidity, too, which is one thing I noticed immediately and thought might help perk it up a bit.

Cassis? I was completely befuddled by this description as I had no idea what it meant. Thanks to www.m-w.online, however, I discovered that it is simply a French word for black currant. Oh. Well in that case, I did notice a general dark berry/fruit flavor so I’ll go along with this description.

And cedar? Well, I don’t know how to respond to that.

Bottom line, I just found this Merlot a bit flat. Not nasty or disgusting, but not good. It was just okay.

I’m sorry, ¿free range? rooster. At least you have a happy life….

wine’s website: www.rexgoliath.com







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