AG Pick Under $15: 2007 Paso Creek Merlot

Paso Creek’s slogan is “bold character derived from stubborn patience.”  And boldness is what you’ll find in this big Merlot.

The 2007 Paso Creek Merlot comes from Paso Robles.  This region, inland from the Santa Lucia coastal mountains in central California, is known for its optimal growing conditions and deeply concentrated wines.  If you complain that Merlot can be a bit wimpy, you’ll want to give the Paso Creek Merlot a try.

The wine is 91% Merlot, with 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Syrah rounding it out.  It spends 18 months in oak, of which 30% is new American oak.

Deep garnet red in color, the wine has aromas of ripe red and black fruits, cedar and a hint of smoke.  On the palate are concentrated flavors of plum, boysenberry and cherry that are layered with notes of leather, cigar box, sweet oak and black pepper.  Firm with a nice mouthfeel, the wine is well balanced and satisfying through the lingering spicy berry finish.

The Paso Creek Merlot pairs nicely with hamburgers, venison, meat lasagna and lamb.

A bottle of the 2007 Paso Creek Merlot costs $14.

13.5% alcohol by volume