Schug Winery – 2012 – Merlot – Sonoma County
Easy-going Merlot with that jazz that I look for in any wine. And it’s not the Merlot type that so many self-sworn “experts” just want to write away with disgruntled barbs and obnoxious dismissal. This bottle shows rounded and eclectic palate presence with an unusually convincing fruit structure entailing cherry, blueberry, a little strawberry and mint-chocolate. Soft grip and a tremolo’d finish that’ll carry you to the next sip. Not what people think of, or what they’re told to think of (what I find happens most often), when Merlot comes up in discussion or is poured at the table. This wine shows speed and swagger, sense and syllabic sensibility. Its own language and sound form. One of those Coltrane solos that you replay over and over while driving down Highway 1, window down, where you smell the ocean, where the ocean talks to you through phantasmic breezy shoves. After about 40 or so minutes open inviting oxygen down through neck, she starts to narrate what Sonoma is entirely about— elegant approachability. No vanity, only a story and conversation through Bordeaux’s always shoved cast member. It’s relaxed disposition is just what makes it un tel amour.