2002 Chateau Souverain Winemaker's Reserve Merlot

A Little Bit of Chateau So So

Alright, look. I’m no Sideways adherent. I won’t leave no matter how much merlot anyone orders. I’ll even drink it. It’s just not my favorite. Putting that out there. Full disclosure, as it were.

This was a wine I was actually excited to try. Not counting a bottle of 20-year-old Taylor Fladgate, it was the oldest in my cellar. I, as previously stated, don’t drink much merlot and am always looking for that bottle that will slap my ass and call me Susan, making me fall in love with the grape.

This one wasn’t it. But it definitely wasn’t bad, either.

In the glass, the wine is almost black. It’s among the darkest of purple-reds I’ve seen, at least lately. On the nose, after a vigorous swirl, were pleasing notes of black fruit and chocolate. My interest was piqued. This seemed like something new from merlot (at least in my opinion/experience).

On the palate, however, this is definitely a merlot. The wine is dry and cloying, really sucks on your tongue, but I couldn’t get excited about it. It’s really a very alcoholic wine (at 14.7% ABV) and that comes through loud and clear. The black fruit from the nose is passed to the palate, but the chocolate note is no where to be found, and a sort of wet stone flavor replaces it.

Again, the wine isn’t bad. A drinking partner and I made no bones about being able to finish the bottle. But, it just couldn’t get me excited, either about merlot, or about itself.

Verdict: 83/100

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