2004 Coppola ‘Blue Label’ Merlot – California
Merlot has been getting a bad rap recently, but lambasting a whole world of wines from this grape is not the smartest idea. Even in California, nice, inexpensive Merlot is still around, and the 2004 Coppola ‘Blue Label’ Merlot is a perfect example. Dark, rich blackberry and dark cherry flavors dominate, with a little dark chocolate and concentrated raspberry on the finish. Winemaker Corey Beck aged the wine in French oak barrels for 12 months, giving the wine a vanilla and toasty oak touch without overpowering the lovely fruit. Blending in 6 percent syrah and 4 percent petite sirah adds a graphite and earthy component and that lovely raspberry kick on the finish. This wine sits on the shelf for just under $20, just right for Friday night burgers or beef enchiladas. It certainly has enough kick to stand up to a nice filet mignon. And, like most good merlots, just drink the darn thing.
Francis Ford Coppola has recently separated his wine company into two facilities: Rubicon Estates in Napa for the high-end, estate wines, and Coppola Presents in Sonoma for the wines made from purchased grapes. This merlot is made from purchased grapes from Napa Valley, Sonoma County and Monterey County.
– Jarrett Osborn, Special to The Trail