Decant this!

This wine needs to come with a warning: decant before attempting to drink or risk lighting yourself on fire with the fumes. The wine itself is a 2002 Mazzocco Merlot.

Weighing in at 15% alcohol by volume, the bottle had a real cork and cost us $25 at the winery. (One of our purchases on our recent trip.)

After the alcohol blew off the nose (really, trust me on this one, decant) strawberries showed through. Then, and I realize this will sound incredibly odd, chocolate leather. Neither simply chocolate or leather, it was honestly a combination. In the mouth there were more strawberries and the wine was earthy overall.

I would describe this as a big wine. Big flavors, big alcohol, big aroma. The wine was the darkest wine I think I have ever seen. Not a ray of light was getting through this deep purple wine. The wine was also very tannic, it could certainly age for quite a while longer and I think it would develop into an incredible wine in another 3-5 years. It took several hours for the flavors to smooth out.

I served this with bbq pork chops, parmesean cous cous, and white corn on the cob. It was an excellent match for the bbq and I would definite suggest a bbq pairing for this one!

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5 Responses

  1. I like the excess amount of alcohol, but it does sounds like it could have used a few more years on the shelf. Good choice by pairing it with strong, meaty flavors. Was the meat high in fat at all? I have heard it’s a good idea to pair tannic wines with high-fat foods, as the fat coats your tongue making the wine taste smoother. Not sure if this actually works or not.

  2. Sounds like a monster. I never think of US Merlot’s as needing ageing, although I do age Merlot’s from France. Huh. Do you have another bottle? If so put a big star on the top so you remember not to drink it too soon.

  3. Hi Sonadora – I think Italian Merlots need the same age as Debs’ Bordeaux Merlot. I decant virtually everything, including the Italian Merlot. By the way, for my Sonoma trip my buddy and I would like to stay in a town that we don’t have to drive to dinner or wine bars (i.e. fun, lively), and we want to be biking distance to good wineries. Which town do you suggest?

  4. Foodette, it didn’t seem terribly high in fat, most of it burned off in the bbq process! I do know that fat coats your tongue and changes the taste of wines, I’ve especially noticed this when eating high fat content cheeses!

    Dr. Debs, no other bottle hanging around. I really wanted to bring home as many diverse bottles as possible from this trip, so tried to limit myself to only one of each!

    Joe, I would suggest staying in Healdsburg if you are looking for a place with a variety of restaurants and in town winebars. We stay in Cloverdale, but it is really a tiny place with about 3 restaurants and closes up around 8pm! Healdsburg has tons of wineries within biking distance (though some of the outliers might require a drive) and lots of good restaurants. Also, check out Fork and Bottle, there are tons of great recs for food and such on there!

  5. Thanks, Sonadora, I was leaning towards Healdsburg. Sounds like fun!

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