Friday, October 21, 2011

2009 Velvet Devil Merlot

Took a flyer on the 2009 Charles Smith Wines The Velvet Devil Merlot, Columbia Valley tonight. Had it with assorted leftovers of paella and stuffed peppers. Pretty cranberry color. Nose is loaded with sweet, vanilla-cherry fruit and a hint of cured meat/salami. Palate reveals some tart cherry fruit and more than a touch of that vegetal/green/bay leaf flavor so common to inexpensive Merlot. Nice acidity prickles the tongue. No tannins to speak of. Enjoy now if this is your cup of tea. $12


  1. Bill you said: "vegetal/green/bay leaf flavor so common to inexpensive Merlot", I think I tend to interpret this as a petroleum quality, and you have it on the nose (You nailed it, no pun intended)"common to inexpensive Merlot"; Columbia Crest Grand Estates ((About $10.00) is a totally different animal and worth much more. I think (With the not so good Merlots) you can understand Mile's (Sideways) reaction to Merlot (Though his comment was taken out of context).

  2. Dennis,

    I've had Columbia Crest's Grand Estates Merlot a couple of times over the years. My father-in-law is a big fan and always brings some with him when he comes to visit. And while it is indeed considerably richer than most inexpensive Merlots, I can't get past the coconut/Bourbon aromas from the American oak.

    Of course that's a "me" problem as I know a lot of people like that style. (Who am I to argue with the tens of thousands of cases of that stuff that Columbia Crest sells every year?)

  3. I'm just not a fan of mass produced wines, & to me, Columbia Crest is pushing it. I always say that it'll do in a pinch, but honestly, if I'm in that bad of a way, I'll drink beer.

    It's been a couple of years since I've had Velvet Devil, but last time I did, I thought it was quite good for the price. Charles Smith is a very talented winemaker...I love his Charles & Charles rose', & his higher end Syrahs.

    In general, I love Washington Merlot. If I had to pick a favorite right now, I think it'd be Novelty Hill.

    Not that you asked.