Braised lamb with roasted potatoes
Piercing notes of raspberry, red currant, black tea and spiced hardwood. Swirling adds sweeter black fruits, plum skin, graphite, scorched earth, minerals and a wafting red berry potpourri. The palate is dense but plush with fine tannins and excellent energy surrounding the core of dark spice-driven fruit. The wine finishes and lingers with a gorgeous red fruit lift.
94% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon
Dionysus, Stillwater Creek, Hedges Family Estate, Red Mountain, Angela’s
Fermented in 73% concrete and 27% stainless steel tanks. Aged for 23 months in 94% new French oak barrels.
"The 2017 Merlot Reserve from Matthews checks in as 94% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Cabernet Franc, all aged 22 months in 94% new French oak. Deep ruby/purple-colored, with medium to full-bodied notes of spring flowers, raspberries, candied orange, and spice, it's elegant, balanced, and has a light, juicy, already delicious style. It should evolve gracefully for 10-12 years or more."
92 points, Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com
"Good dark red. Blackcurrant, blueberry, peppery herbs, licorice and minerals on the nose. Dense, fine-grained and sweet, showing lovely inner-mouth violet lift to the dark berry, licorice, menthol and herb flavors. Juicy but a bit youthfully imploded owing to its peppery element. This ripe, smooth Merlot has both concentration and character, if not quite the silkiness of the 2016 release. Finishes firm, suavely tannic and long, with a repeating note of bitter chocolate. Classic serious Merlot with the backbone to evolve gracefully in bottle. (aged in 94% new French oak for 23 months)"
91+ points, Stephen Tanzer, Vinous
"Opening with oaky aromas and elements of dusty plum on the nose, the 2017 Reserve Merlot Columbia Valley took some spinning in the glass to tell me more. Medium to full-bodied, the wine offers rigid tannins on the mid-palate and grips the gum line, before ending with lingering flavors of bitter dark chocolate and cherry skin on the still-tight finish. The wine spent 23 months in French oak barrels, 94% new. Just under 5,000 bottles were made."
90 points, Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate