i, generally, don't buy many merlots, but happened to drop by my favorite wine store a while back during their "all merlots & chardonnays at cost" sale. i picked 2 bottles of this up at around $18. i grilled ribeyes late yesterday evening after a long day at work. i opened the bottle & poured a glass before lighting the grill.
this merlot had a wonderful fruity nose. initially, this was definitely what some of you call a fruit bomb, but it developed just the right amount of tannic structure after about an hour in the glass, which added a nice complexity & gave me something to chew on besides my steak. it tasted great, ripe plums & cherrys, cassis & a touch of vanilla. oak was present but subdued. it was very balanced & i enjoyed it immensely. 94 points & decent qpr. i will buy more of this.