AG Pick: Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Merlot 2008

The Amateur Gastronomer has predicted that 2012 will see the return of Merlot. Why? In the years following the movie “Sideways,” California winemakers have revamped how they produce Merlot wine. Careful attention has been paid to how the grape is grown, when it is harvested and how the wine is crafted. The latest releases focus on the desirable characteristics of Merlot, with wines that are better than ever.

The Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Merlot 2008 is a wine that stands out. Its refined black and berry fruit flavors show just how tasty and sophisticated Merlot can be.

The wine is made from 95% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the remaining 4% comprised of other Bordeaux grapes. The fruit is all estate grown and comes from the top 5% of Kendall-Jackson’s Merlot wine lots in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino Counties.

Through precision farming methods and harvesting the grapes at the peak of their potential, Kendall-Jackson ensures a high quality Merlot.

The wine spent 19 months aging nearly entirely in French oak, of which 47% was new.

At first sniff you can tell this is a Merlot that deserves a taste. The wine has aromas of dark fruit and spice. The taste is a round mix of boysenberry, blackberry, black plum, cherry and currant layered with violet, cedar, dark chocolate and a touch of smoke. Refined tannins give the wine good structure. The finish is satisfying with lingering berry notes.

If you stopped drinking Merlot years ago this is a wine that will bring you back.

A bottle of the Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Merlot 2008 costs $26.

14.5% alcohol by volume

More Red Wines | White Wines | Under $20

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