Dark garnet color, medium bodied. Initial dark cherry tartness wears off and gives way to black berry and black cherry fruits with subdued layer of tea and leather and hint of mocha, a bit of spice, oak and smoke with a moderate finish. Often producers of high achieving good value wines, there is decent value in this soft easy drinking Merlot, selected as a Top Ten of 2011 by BevMo's Wilfred Wong and if you believe the pundits, the 2008 is even better for a greater value. Nice selection to go with varied entree selections from Salmon to steak to pasta at 800 West in Western Springs - family birthday dinner with L, Johnny and Erin with Lucy, and Ryan - celebrating Erin and L b-days. Nice atmosphere, so-so food, the Merlot was one of the few bright spots on a rather sparse and un-inspiring wine-list with no chance of redemption for lack of BYOB.
RM 88 points.