Quick Swirl: Finca El Portillo Merlot (PB)
Finca El Portillo Merlot 2002 $7
This Argentinian from Bodegas Salentein has an inky nose that reminds me of popcorn--not your typical wine review adjective but that's what it smells like okay? On the swirl it has a large bouquet that reminds me more of Shiraz than Merlot. The bold tannins give way to a hint of choclate and deep flavor with surprizing raisiny notes with a little spice. With some air, currants come out in force. It is simple, straightforward, the fruit seems to be over ripe and jammy but if you're not expecting Merlot, this is actually a good buy; its just a better example of Shiraz even though its Merlot. I'd buy it again for the price.