Sunday, February 14, 2010

Consentino Merlot 1995 wine review by (PB)

(NW) served this up blind to me. It's a little game we play to both enrich our skills at wine evaluation as well as instilling humility with respect to one's assessment of their own skills...

The wine was showing some age in the glass with a slightly opaqueish brick red hue with yellow to brown tones at the rim but not too much.

On the swirl this wine was special. Red fruit, pronounced Italian olives right up front nuanced with the sweet fragrance of mature cherry, and pronounced pomegranate with more olives and dill galore. Gorgeous!

Palate--Utterly integrated with firm structure and grilled meat with long smokey, toasty hickory, fruit laden finish.

So the humility enters--I said to (NW) the wine is 15 -22 years old. If I had stopped there my oenophilic ego would have been satisfied. I really had no bearings for region but it didn't fit any of the obvious global locales with which I am familiar. "Maybe a Bordeaux" I said as a wild stab. But that was only because I had no other category in which to put this wine. When he told me it was Napa Merlot I was a bit incredulous but then again, how many 15 year old Napa Merlot's have I had to enable me to have a reference point--basically zero.

At any rate, this wine just kept changing as it breathed and was positively exquisite with my daughter's risotto and strip steak garnish. When you consider this was $50 on release and about $35 now--if you can find it--it is hard to imagine wine getting much better at any price. It is a treasure like this that makes the hunt so worth while. Raise a glass and then some!

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