Tamarack Cellars 2006 merlot

Another early WAwineman classic, 1st posted on August 20, 2008:

Imagine being a burglar and breaking into a house only to find that…it’s your mom’s. That dude obviously didn’t graduate from Lakeside…or anywhere. The Hare Krishnas would like to thank all you airport donors who gave to their new $4.5 mil temple in Sammamish, while we are in a recession. And in LA, a dude who showed little remorse gets 11 life sentences for parking his gas-soaked SUV on the tracks which derailed a train and sent it into another oncoming train. I thought we were only entitled to only one life? Gotta love our justice system (remember O.J.).

Hey, so I was snooping through the local market and while I was tempted to buy the Leonetti ’06 merlot, I couldn’t resist this bargain-of-a-bargain merlot. Regular price was $30. Yeah, I had to grab this one quick. Did the sun bake it? Did Tamarack have an off-year for their superb merlot (’05 = 94 rating WS)? I already reveiwed their good Firehouse Red, so what gives? Well…buy first, then ask questions is my perspective. So, I paired this with a syrah-type meal of taco-meat topped with torn Kraft Singles and supermarket medium salsa, along with a dessert of KFC soggy-fried leftover chicken. Not a great trio but for my definition of ‘table wine’, I’d say this passed easily for a good overall meal. Mind you, this wine isn’t about terroir or a chameleon-like tail characteristic of the uber-premiums, but for the price of a Jackson (if you got it on ‘sale’), I’d have to say I actually scored on this risk.

Nose: black cherry, plum, and blackberry. Color: deep, sexy blackish red. Mouthfeel: Blue Danube-heavy. Tail trail: 4 seconds. Flavors: dark fruits that die off quickly and end with…pencil lead (gasp!).

Alcohol: 14.2%. Contains 6 AVAs. 81% merlot (26% Tapteil, 21% Weinbau, 12% DuBrul, 12% Spring Creek, 6% Gamache Brothers, 4% Seven Hills), 12% cab (Tapteil), and 7% cab franc (Weinbau). 1456 cases. pH 3.62. TA 0.60. 60% new oak (USA, French and Hungarian) and oaked for 12 months. Rated: 82. Value: $20. Paid: $19. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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