Sometimes you just need a break from Cabernet Sauvignon, but what do you reach for? Well, we found a classic Bordeaux-style Napa Valley Merlot that’s downright delicious: Joseph Carr Merlot!
After 20 years in the industry—first as a sommelier and then as an industry executive—Joseph Carr followed a dream to own his own winery and today has become recognized as ‘The Negociant of Napa Valley.’
Joseph Carr Merlot is a wine that has its roots in Napa Valley in the Rutherford, Stags Leap and Carneros districts and the grapes proudly show off their heritage. If, like us, you don’t often reach for a California Merlot, you should at least give this one a taste.
We were delighted when we tried this affordable red blend that is comprised of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc.
The first thing you'll notice is that aromas of black cherries, fresh plums, cassis, violet and dark chocolate deliciously overwhelm the bouquet. These scents are followed by gentle notes of sage and subtle cedar.
The flavors are equally layered with fresh Bing cherries, wild berries, baked plums, and mocha. All are softened by a delicate, almost luxurious texture, and given staying power with a long, raspberry and powdered cocoa finish. There’s even a surprising hint of olive, black pepper and spice in the subtle oak finish. There is a lot of complexity going on in this flavorful wine.
Elegant, stylish, with depth and balance, this medium-bodied wine is structurally sound, and fruit forward— yet it’s very approachable. Rich in flavor with prominent tannins, this is a wine that starts slowly and finishes with a long, balanced, flavorful finish of ripe red raspberry, plum and pomegranate.
This a lovely wine that achieves Joseph Carr’s mission “…to produce complex, yet balanced wines that echo a European sensibility and exhibit approachability.” This tasty Merlot would pair well with beef Bourguignon, pork tenderloin or your favorite comfort food.
Whatever you decide, you will enjoy this wine right into its long finish, where it will tempt you to take another sip, or, better yet, pour another glass.
You can find this wine at Circus Wines/Spirits Unlimited, 835 State Highway 35, Middletown, NJ 07748.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to subscribe to receive notification of future Wine Examiner articles, simply add your email address to the subscribe button at the top of the page. Comments welcome.