Purchased from Desert Winds Tasting Room, $35
Aaron: I give major props to Desert Winds for having a “charity donation fee” to taste this older bottle in their tasting room – admittedly, that’s probably why we bought it. There was a lot of berry and tobacco on the nose with a dark flavor. This had gotten a little flat after 16 years (it’s a merlot, not a cab or zin) and tasted almost like a port with lots of plum and prune notes. I enjoyed the abundant chocolate with some dry tree bark. Overall this was mellow and easy drinking, particularly after it opened up. 90 points
Teri: Aaron and I bought this bottle from the winery after doing a charity donation tasting (tasting fee goes to charity and you get to try a reserve wine..awesome set up). After 16 years in the bottle, this wine still contained some structured tannins but left you with an extremely smooth mouth feel. Along with a juicy berry nose, the flavors of peppery black cherry and sweet oak made this one bottle to enjoy on its own. 90 points. Any merlot Desert Winds crafts will be good for aging–buy a few and let them sit for 5-10 years.