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Decant this!

June 6, 2007
This wine needs to come with a warning: decant before attempting to drink or risk lighting yourself on fire with the fumes. The wine itself is a 2002 Mazzocco Merlot.

Weighing in at 15% alcohol by volume, the bottle had a real cork and cost us $25 at the winery. (One of our purchases on our recent trip.)

After the alcohol blew off the nose (really, trust me on this one, decant) strawberries showed through. Then, and I realize this will sound incredibly odd, chocolate leather. Neither simply chocolate or leather, it was honestly a combination. In the mouth there were more strawberries and the wine was earthy overall.

I would describe this as a big wine. Big flavors, big alcohol, big aroma. The wine was the darkest wine I think I have ever seen. Not a ray of light was getting through this deep purple wine. The wine was also very tannic, it could certainly age for quite a while longer and I think it would develop into an incredible wine in another 3-5 years. It took several hours for the flavors to smooth out.

I served this with bbq pork chops, parmesean cous cous, and white corn on the cob. It was an excellent match for the bbq and I would definite suggest a bbq pairing for this one!


  1. foodette said...

    I like the excess amount of alcohol, but it does sounds like it could have used a few more years on the shelf. Good choice by pairing it with strong, meaty flavors. Was the meat high in fat at all? I have heard it's a good idea to pair tannic wines with high-fat foods, as the fat coats your tongue making the wine taste smoother. Not sure if this actually works or not.

    6/6/07, 4:45 PM  

  2. Dr. Debs said...

    Sounds like a monster. I never think of US Merlot's as needing ageing, although I do age Merlot's from France. Huh. Do you have another bottle? If so put a big star on the top so you remember not to drink it too soon.

    6/6/07, 5:12 PM  

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    6/7/07, 7:49 AM  

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    6/8/07, 5:46 AM  

  5. Joe said...

    Hi Sonadora - I think Italian Merlots need the same age as Debs' Bordeaux Merlot. I decant virtually everything, including the Italian Merlot. By the way, for my Sonoma trip my buddy and I would like to stay in a town that we don't have to drive to dinner or wine bars (i.e. fun, lively), and we want to be biking distance to good wineries. Which town do you suggest?

    6/10/07, 8:07 PM  

  6. Sonadora said...

    Foodette, it didn't seem terribly high in fat, most of it burned off in the bbq process! I do know that fat coats your tongue and changes the taste of wines, I've especially noticed this when eating high fat content cheeses!

    Dr. Debs, no other bottle hanging around. I really wanted to bring home as many diverse bottles as possible from this trip, so tried to limit myself to only one of each!

    Joe, I would suggest staying in Healdsburg if you are looking for a place with a variety of restaurants and in town winebars. We stay in Cloverdale, but it is really a tiny place with about 3 restaurants and closes up around 8pm! Healdsburg has tons of wineries within biking distance (though some of the outliers might require a drive) and lots of good restaurants. Also, check out Fork and Bottle, there are tons of great recs for food and such on there!

    6/12/07, 1:02 PM  

  7. Joe said...

    Thanks, Sonadora, I was leaning towards Healdsburg. Sounds like fun!

    6/12/07, 10:08 PM  

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