A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of a visit here in Healdsburg from Bradley Cooper – the engaging winemaker from British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. The Bradinator (Cooper’s moniker in the fast-paced world of Twitter. Yours Truly goes by Oenophilus) & his wife, Audralee, spent an afternoon with me running around Healdsburg and tasting a little wine. After visiting my sister-in-law, Samantha at Chateau Felice’s tasting room, we decided to cross the Plaza and to dine at Ravenous. One of my regular haunts, Ravenous serves wonderfully fresh and creative “wine country” cuisine. They are also home to one of the finest burgers in creation! We tasted some of my Iridesse Wines with our dinner as we talked shop long into the evening. Audralee and Brad thoughtfully left me with a couple of their bottles.
I must say, the first Merlot I have had in quite a while. Not because of any aversion to the varietal or any Miles-induced prejudice. I just hadn’t happened to have any recently. That said, I was honored and excited to try it – especially as my knowledge of wines north of the Willamette is woefully inadequate.
Boy, was I ever glad I did!!!
This wine has great color: dark, rich, and inviting! All sorts of wonderful aromas come up out of the glass: Plum, Smoke, fresh raspberries, dill, bay leaf, humus, pepper, and cloves. These all seem to come together perfectly with the flavors that the Merlot brings to the palate. A nice medium acid approach is quickly rounded out into an elegant mouthfeel that holds dark rich fruit, spices, plum, blackberry, cherry, bittersweet chocolate, and fig. The wine finishes like a great food wine with good acid, a quality similar to “Angostura” Bitters” in aroma and flavor with a zesty citrus finish to wrap it up.
Audralee: You are always welcome in Healdsburg. Don’t bring Bradley too often. The world needs him at work in the cellar!