Cloud Break Merlot 2015

– Not Good Booze –

Even for a value-priced Merlot, this has little to offer. OK, it’s not terrible. But, the modest amount of fruit and character fades rapidly. This leaves a soft, wine-like drink. There are better choices in red wines in this price range which have more life in the glass. We recommend taking a pass on this one, at least for this 2015 vintage year release.

The Facts

Cloud Break Merlot 2015

Price Paid – $8.99/$8.09 MIx 6

Date Reviewed – 3/12/18

Where Purchased – Total Wines SF Bay Area

Varietal or Type – Merlot

Vintage Year – 2015

Appellation – California

Winery/Brand – Cloud Break Winery

Bottle Size – 750 ML

Alcohol – 13.5%

Cork? – Composition

Pour it and taste – Reg. Red Wine Glass: Medium color, hint of cedar and then cherry aromas. Modest cherry and berry flavors. Medium dry, easy finish.

Aerator – Reg. Red Wine Glass: Cherry and berry aromas. Balanced, modest cherry and berry flavors. Soft finish. Light body. Fading.

Decanter – Reg. Red Wine Glass: Just a hint of tar in the nose with some berry aroma. Flat. Smooth but not much fruit or body.

Overall – Not terrible or awful, but this is a very modest wine. The small amount of cherry and berry fruit fades quickly. Even at this price, a pass.

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Copyright 2018 Chandelle of Sonoma, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Blackstone Merlot

Good Booze – Great Price

At $4.49 with some juicy berry flavors and aromas this is a terrific value for the casual Merlot “by the tumbler” drinker. Pretty darn good party wine by the case as well. We tasted this one Six Ways. Check our review notes below for the best approach but the conclusion is that this wine won’t last long on the counter or overnight. Pop it open and pour. Note that this Costco deal ends in March and they usually run out of these sort of “blowout” deals rapidly. Cheers.

The Facts

Blackstone Merlot

Price Paid – $4.49 (through March, 2018 or while supplies last)

Date Reviewed – 2/14/18

Where Purchased – Costco SF Bay Area

Varietal or Type – Merlot

Vintage Year – 2015

Appellation – California

Winery/Brand – Blackstone Winery

Bottle Size – 750 ML

Alcohol – 13.5%

Cork? – Composition

Pour it and taste –

– Reg. Red Wine Glass: Some berry aromas. Juicy berry flavors. Small tannins on the finish.

– Cabernet Sauvignon Glass: Bigger berry aromas. Juicy berry flavors. Some smooth tannins on the finish.

Aerator –

– Reg. Red Wine Glass: More berry aromas than than before. Juicy berries, smooth. Easy finish

– Cabernet Sauvignon Glass: Cherry and berry aromas. Smooth, fading juicy berries. Very smooth

Decanter –

– Reg. Red Wine Glass: Bit of sulfur  in the nose. Smooth but the flavors have faded.

– Cabernet Sauvignon Glass: Pretty flat but smooth. Generic red wine.

Overall – Decent red with some juicy berry fruit, but it does not linger or last long. Enjoy in a regular red glass or even a Cab Sauv glass but drink it tonight. It’s not going to have much after some hours. Skip the aerator and the decanter.

GoodCheapBooze.com

Copyright 2018 Chandelle of Sonoma, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Yellow Tail Merlot

Not Good Booze –  Not Worth It

Compared to other reds we’ve reviewed including another Yellow Tail, this one is so modest it fades into nothing. It’s not bad, but it’s just a simple generic red with Merlot printed on the label. For some that may be enough given the price. We hit it with every combination in our tasting protocol kit and if you were going to drink it, the best result came from pouring it right out into a larger Cabernet glass. Some berry flavors linger for a bit but It does not get better with time and air. Not at all.

The Facts

Yellow Tail Merlot

Price Paid – $5.99

Date Reviewed – 2/1/18

Where Purchased – Safeway SF Bay Area

Varietal or Type – Merlot

Vintage Year – 2016 (Australia*)

Appellation – Australia

Winery/Brand – Yellow Tail/Casella Family Brands

Bottle Size – 750 ML

Alcohol – 13%

Cork? – Artificial

Pour it and taste – Two Ways –

– Std. Red Wine Glass: Tar and some Berry in the nose. Some berry and cherry flavors. soft tannins and a medicinal edge to the finish.

– Large Cabernet Glass): Tar nose. Smooth Berry flavors and zero tannins. Smooth finish with a bit of berry. A bit thin.

Aerator plus 5 minutes – Two Ways –

– Std. Red Wine Glass: Tar still present, but less. Bit of berry flavor, thin body with a medicinal finish.

– Large Cabernet Glass: A hint of tar in the nose. Some berries and soft tannins. Bit of a medicinal finish. Thin.

Decanter plus 30 minutes – Two Ways –

– Std. Red Wine Glass: Now a generic “red wine”. Thin. Without character.

– Large Cabernet Glass: Some tar in the nose. A tiny suggestion of fruit flavors. Small tannins a the end.

Overall – This is a very modest red wine. It does have that magic word Merlot on the label, that might be enough to please some indifferent drinkers given the price. But, it’s thin, the flavors are whispy and it’s just not a wine with interest even as a party wine. Not terrible, just not worth the drinking given other choices.

* Harvests in the Southern Hemisphere are six months earlier than in the US and France. The benefit is a wine “older” than the vintage year would indicate which is an added bonus in this price range. A bit more time in the bottle is a good thing.

GoodCheapBooze.com

Copyright 2018 Chandelle of Sonoma, Inc. All Rights Reserved


BV Coastal Estates Merlot

BV Coastal Estates Merlot

Staff Wine Review – GoodCheapBooze.com

Not Good Booze. Sad.

Now, this is from a fine old brand in California. One expects better. A nice package with an attractive label. But the wine? Indifferent and sad. Pass this one by. Just a tad nasty.

The Facts

BV Coastal Estates Merlot

Price Paid – $9.99

Date Reviewed – 10/15/17

Where Purchased – BevMo SF Bay Area

Varietal or Type – Merlot

Vintage Year – 2015

Appellation – California

Winery/Brand – Beaulieu Vineyards

Bottle Size – 750 ML

Alcohol – 13.5%

Cork? – Composition

Pour it and taste – Bright red color. Sulphur and cherry nose. Cherry notes, tannins

Aerator – Sulphur faded a bit. Hard to find the cherries. Tannins more pronounced. Short finish.

Decanter – Sulphur gone. Spicy nose. Cherries gone. Unpleasant finish

Overall – In one word: disappointing.

Copyright 2017 Chandelle of Sonoma, Inc. All Rights Reserved