Rich's Merlot Tasting

May 24, 2001

Wines are listed in the order they were tasted. All wines were purchaced the day before the tasting, we opened seven bottles total.

J Lohr '98 Paso Robles Cost Plus 13.99

(warmup wine)

Generally well-liked. Certainly a good quality/cost value!


Havens '98 Napa

Draeger's 21.99

31 points, three last-place votes, best vote was third place.

barn, diaper, smoke, stinky, thin, acid, lactic finnish: French?

lots of tannin, acid, dry

stinky nose, barnyard, composte, oakey, not objectionable

somehwhat thin, not unpleasant, a little hay

Duckhorn '98 Napa

Draeger's 64.99

20 points, all over the map; definitely *not* worth the price!

more fruit, some oak, something lurking, nice, subdued fruit, balanced, good tannins, deep color


nice, but closed; balanced, but not enough nose

nice fruit, balanced

Columbia Crest '98 Washington

Cost Plus 8.99

10 points, first place! Three first place votes, one vote for 3rd place: the clear winner!

simple, oak, light fruit, nice, subdued fruit, balanced, good tannins, simple American merlot

light, fuity, well balanced, light tannin

zowie nose, rich mouth, currant and jam, slipped my socks off

oak, vanilla, balanced, some veggie, sour?


Saint Antoinne '99
Vin de Pays d'Oc

Draeger's 7.99

30 points, nearly tied for last place, best vote 3rd place

American oak, musty, astringent, out of balance, did I mention oak?

slightly acidic, fruit, powdery aftertaste

good nose, flat tounge, some band-aid, worse at the end, dusty

artificial cherry, astringent


Mason '98 Napa

Draeger's 21.99

23 points, solidly in the middle

vineous, some vruit, not complex, slight lactic, thin cherry

sweet, light tannin, balanced, fruity

light and happy nose, fresh and milky mouth

sour milk, lactic

Arrowwood '97 Sonoma

Cost Plus 37.99

12 points, a strong 2nd place.

fruity, earthy, sweet fruit, good tannins, not balanced?

dairy, well balanced, intense

fruity and big, vanilla, good with chocolate!

robotusin, could be quite good, too sweet, too cherry-vanilla now (2nd place vote)