Arrowood Merlot 1998 Wine Review (billy)
This is an unfined and unfiltered Merlot from Sonoma and should definitely be decanted. While it is a bit older it should still be a treat.
Eyes: not as dense or inky as I might expect. Signs of slight age around the edges but, there again, not as much as I would expect.
Nose: Rich and layered. This is a much fuller nose that anticipated given the pour. Chocolate, smoke, leather, and cherries are at the fore. Underneath are plum and oily mineral layers. This is a very nice nose.
Palate: It is tight but will definitely open with air. The palate is packed quite tightly with flavor layers but right now it is so tight that they are nearly indistinguishable. The tannins are soft but the acids are prevalent - nearly too much so. Dark fruit and leather follow from the nose to the palate with the black cherry rounding the wine.
Finish: The finish is long but choppy - probably due to the slight overweighting of the acids.
Overall this wine is past its prime but still a nice treat. The abundance of flavor layers make this a wonderful wine to review and taste. Though if you were just looking for a wine to drink, the $24.00 I paid for this would buy you another, less richly layered but more drinkable wine.
Still, I'll Raise a Glass for this TASTING!