The wine for the evening was the 2003 Lava Cap 2003 Reserve Merlot from El Dorado. It clocked in at 15.1% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and cost us $19.99 from WineQ (free shipping!).
On the nose I found berries, plums, spices, dark fruit, currants, and chocolate. In the mouth, more berries, currants, and plums. The wine was fruity with a bit of a darker earthy undertone, and still had a bit of a tannic edge.
I thought this was a really fun, fruity Merlot, and another great effort from Lava Cap. For this price, I would definitely get this again and consider it as a staple for serving with pizza or tomato based pasta dishes.