Wine Tasting #8: Californian Merlot

After almost two months, I’ve finally gotten around to tasting half of the wines I purchased (15 total)! I originally ordered this pack as a deal as means of getting through quarantine, and to some extent, it still applies. Lock-down restrictions have loosened, but I still mostly stay at home to prevent any further outbreaks from happening, whether to me or to others.

This week is a red wine, and it’s the lone bottle that hails from the United States, specifically from California (my home state). Knowing that California is world-renown for its wines, I was curious in trying this one out, as I had limited exposure to Californian wines beforehand. Here’s the verdict:

Fair Oaks Ranch (California), Merlot (2016)

Uncorking the bottle, I was hit with a lovely smell, a blend of oak and fruity which definitely whetted my palate for a taste. Even the color looked promising, a ruby red when held up to the light. However, the taste left me feeling rather underwhelmed.

My ratings:

  • Smell: 4/5 (oaky, fruity, full-bodied)
  • Color: 3.5/5 (ruby red, a bit lighter in color than expected)
  • Dry level: 3.5/5 (mostly dry, but not overbearing)
  • Aftertaste: 3/5 (oaky, really smooth, yet disappears quickly)

Overall rating: 3.5/5

Fair Oaks Ranch’s Merlot had an incredible smell for first impressions, as well as in its color. I appreciated its smooth taste, but I still felt a bit cheated by the aftertaste; I’d expected a bit more “oomph” to it. Any case, it’s a decent wine to go with meals, as it’s relatively light yet can hold its ground paired with red meats like beef and lamb.

Thanks for reading! More tastings coming up soon.

— The Finicky Cynic

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