catalpa merlot 2017/20
Perhaps the only downside to Rex Pickett’s 2004 novel, Sideways, and the subsequent eponymous movie, was its contribution to Merlot’s already wavering reputation. Poor old Merlot. It can be dull at times, but you can say that about most things. This here Merlot, however, from the gifted hands of Philippe Caraguel at Atamisque, is anything but dull. It is gorgeous, with a nose that will transport you directly to Pomerol from an opulent vintage, all cigar box, pencil shavings and luscious, dark fruits with a touch of mint. Soft, sweet tannins cradle immensely pure fruit concentration on the velvet-textured palate. An unsung hero.