2004 Dry Creek Valley Merlot
California: Dry Creek Valley (Sonoma)
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Mission Codename: The Eukaryote
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate the private cellar of long-time Wine Spies Confidential Informant, Dennis Yeast, who has been hoarding a secret collection of elegant, age-worthy wines from the most significant California Appellations and vineyards. Taste his 2004 Merlot and, if the wine lives up to the hype, procure every last bottle for our Merlot-loving Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Pacific Estates
Wine Subject: 2004 Merlot – Dry Creek Valley
Winemaker: Dennis Yeast
Backgrounder: To true wine lovers, Merlot is one of the finest wine varietals in the world. Today, Merlot continues to sell in record numbers across the US, outpacing most other varietals. Merlot is a sincere, food-fabulous wine for serious wine drinkers, and today’s wine raises the bar for Dry Creek Valley Merlot by delivering a delicious, elegant, complex wine.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Maroon at the edges, deepening to dark garnet at the core. Swirl the wine and watch as round after round of tall, thin, wine-colored tears run slowly downward.
Smell – Dark mixed fruit compote, black cherry, tomato vine, soft cedar and wet creek bed lead the way. As the wine breathes, it reveals hints of savory herbs and subtle black truffle.
Feel – Round and soft with medium, integrated tannins and a balanced acidity. These all combine to give the wine a very elegant overall feel.
Taste – Black cherry juice and blackberry juice stand out, at first. These are soon followed by more rustic and elegant flavors of braised plum, braised mission fig, dried fall leaves, India black tea leaf and subtle savory herbs.
Finish – Very long, with flavors that gradually move from fruit to the more elegant, earthy flavors. At the end, the wine leaves behind a subtle chewiness that combines with a dark, mineral-laden dryness.
Conclusion – This age-worthy Merlot is a very elegant treat that surprised us with its dark fruit and soft style. We don’t normally associate Merlot with aging, but this 2004 Pacific Estates Dry Creek Valley Merlot really seems to have really improved over the years. With many a restaurant and international wine-buyer clamoring for this wine, we were luck that Dennis Yeast allowed us exclusive access to his private stash. A little shy, right from the bottle, we encourage you to decant this wine for at least an hour before you enjoy it. The patient wine drinker will be rewarded with a more aromatic, flavorful experience. Pair this delicious, pairing-flexible wine with a lovely, rare steak, a perfect pizza (with all the toppings) or an assortment of meats and hard cheeses. Enjoy now, and cellar for the next few years.
What the winery says
About this Wine
Soft and elegant, this is a Merlot that is not trying to be a Cabernet for once. It is quite happy to be itself with all the refinement that comes with fine Merlot. 10% other red varieties were blended after fermentation to enhance fruit complexity and structure resulting in a complex wine.
About the Winery
Pacific Estates is a wine producer based in Sonoma County, California as well as an importer and exporter of wines and Champagnes. We produce high quality and high value California wines from the finest Coastal appellations, Paso Robles, Monterey, Dry Creek Vly as well as some inland valleys. Our wines are fruit driven, richly styled and very well balanced. They represent excellent value and quality for the price.
- 90% Merlot
- 4% Syrah
- 4% Cabernet Franc
- 1% Petite Verdot
- 1% Malbec