Wine – 2005 Oyster Bay Merlot, Hawkes Bay

04132007.jpgI have a thing about red wines under $20 (CDN). There just aren’t many out there that I really enjoy… some… not many. Toss Merlot in there and the grand total is usually pretty close to a big fat “0”.

With that in mind, this wine came as a bit of a surprise. I hadn’t expected to like it at all. It’s nice to be proved wrong.

Don’t get me wrong. It won’t exactly tear me away from a big, bad, deep and dark Merlot, but it did the trick tonight (and does it for a hell of a lot less money).

In the glass, it’s a nice deep red. On the nose, there’s dark cherry, mocha, tea and smoke. The flavours are all that the nose suggests… and more. I got black tea, dark chocolate and lots of nice syrupy dark cherry that lengthens the mineral-laced finish… and it’s all tied together with a nice bit of tannin that would make it a great match for some braised short ribs. Mmmmm… short ribs.

This bottle is really a very good value for the moolah.

$18.99 at LDB stores here in BC.

3 1/2 stars

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