100% Merlot from California.
SRP of $9 and available for as low as $6. Sample received courtesy Balzac Communications for review purposes.
From the winemaker:
"Our California Merlot has aromas of concentrated wild strawberries and tea leaf, with a touch of herbaceous sage for extra complexity. On the palate, this wine has classic Merlot character, with bright cranberry and cherry flavors and a light herbal note, expertly balanced with integrated oak and hints of milk chocolate. Medium-bodied with moderate tannins, the zesty acidity makes this an excellent wine for food-pairing.
Being from Minnesota it's hard not to like the loon, our state bird. Sitting near one of our many lakes at dusk, listening to them call and watching them dive underwater and then scanning the surrounding area to see how far and how long they swim before they pop up again is almost a rite of passage. What exactly, then is a "Smoking Loon"? I have no idea, although a glass of wine would certainly be a nice complement to loon watching. And today's wine would be a very good and economical choice.
The 2009 Smoking Loon California Merlot begins with pleasant aromas of black cherry and spice plus a little vanilla and dried herbs. The wine tastes smooth and flavorful with smoky tannins and sweet and juicy red and black berries. That sweet fruit and some spicy oak flavors resolve into lingering chocolate notes on a surprisingly long finish. Really just a very nice and very drinkable wine at a great price.
Also check out our review of the Smoking Loon Pinot Noir from our Hunt for the Best Pinot Noir Under $20 series!
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.