Sterling Vineyards 2000 Napa Valley Merlot This it the earthy bramble fruit and cherry Merlot I like. At first it seemed the oak would be too much, but it receded. No chocolate, vanilla or coconut. Just cherries, blackberries and dirt. Still has some good tannic structure giving the wine some heft and grip. Although I drank it after dinner, it would go quite nicely with grilled and roasted meats, esp. steaks and lamb chops.
Chateau St Michelle 2000 Merlot Nice basic Merlot, with blackberries and plums, moderate tannins and balance. Easy drinker with or without food. A good valuef for the mid-teen price range.
Stonehedge 2000 Napa Valley Merlot I approached this one with some trepidation. A few weeks back some friends and I had a bottle of Stonehedge Cabernet Sauvignon at lunch that became nearly undrinkable due to the oak. My fears were for naught; any oak influence in this wine was well integrated. The nose was composed of blackberries, dark plums and smokey floral notes mixed with dark chocolate. The mouth was an earthy version of the nose, drying tannins and a moderately long finish. After some time in the glass the wine opened up to reveal pomegranite, cranberry and red currant. I should have tried this one sooner and gone back for more.
If God didn't want me to eat animals, why did He make them out of meat?