I’m partial to Merlot, and always find myself eager to defend it, but this bottle doesn’t need my ardor, nor my soapbox. And Knights Valley, no less, one of those I feel under-appreciated AVA’s that when treated properly boasts a vocality that others cannot, and should spastically envy. This Merlot screams conviction and candor with all its palate elements; poetry and a certain syncopated palate saunter that even those vowing Merlot diffidence would embrace and in which suddenly become confessional and effusive. This Merlot oration teaches the sipper not just about varietal, but about time, to stop or at the very least slow and enjoy, that life is curt at best and when you meet bottles like this you should throw yourself to its meditative ebb.
Initially, I’m greeted by darker more roaring fruit than I habitually see in the varietal, then a pattering calm that won’t leave, then continues its bewitching sensory jargon. And as a Merlot follower, I’m smitten. But even those with the for-whatever-reason aversion would want to listen to, taste, sip again and collect. I’m at an intersection quite interesting with this 2010 Merlot, and am caused to collect my thoughts and perspectives on wine in general; where am I going and what I see and how I think about the Merlot across intangible and immediate treks. It forces me to metaphysicality. I confess to it and myself and the later suggestions that pleasantly confront me later in evening, after letting the full bowl take what oxygen it can, here at the writer’s desk, the glass surrounded by papers and notebooks, and camera cords. I build a story with this Merlot, that was gifted to me from Liam, owner of Benevolo, and now I look at the bottle and all-the-more tussle with my wined vision, and my past with Merlot, how it was the varietal that brought me into wine’s scape. And Benovolo has cemented that sensibility; with me, with wine, with Merlot, and at this table writing now with a bowl barren.