I’m currently writing a piece on Merlot for Food & Spirits Magazine called “Suck it, Sideways” and, aware of my own biases and shortcomings, I reached out to a number of friends in the wine industry to get recommendations on their favorite Merlots. I got all kinds of recommendations, from all over the world and at all different price points, some of them three figures, and some requiring rare vintages. But a good friend from the Pacific Northwest replied that BG’s Merlot was not only incredibly well-priced, but very, very good, and of all the many options, made that his recommendation.
Last night I got to taste it for myself, and I was impressed. The Barnard Griffin 2014 Merlot from Columbia Valley begins with a beautiful nose of lilac and deep blue fruits. Dark in color, with continued delicate floral notes, vanilla, and dark fruit on the palate, it offers a subtlety that is easy to appreciate. Later, notes of red apple flirt amongst fine tannins, which lend structure and a velvety mouthfeel to the wine. An extended, dry finish completes it. Beautiful wine from start to finish, and an excellent QPR. Still young, it gets 92 points on my scale, and I strongly recommend it. (Sample)