Wine Recommendation
  Sign In
Subscribe to our newsletter
Bookmark and Share  
print this review     

Wine Recommendation

Carmody McKnight Estate Wines 2002 Merlot, Estate (Paso Robles)

Carmody McKnight Estate Wines

2002 Merlot, Estate
(Paso Robles)

All the wine that comes from Carmody McKnight, an artisan producer of mineral-rich wines on the Westside of Paso Robles, are estate grown and bottled. Over the decade I’ve been appreciating them, they’ve been consistently intense, powerfully elegant and extraordinarily well balanced. You will never find an overripe, hot wine from this winery, which cannot be said of many wines from this region.

Carmody McKnight is the beloved estate home of author, film maker, artist and actor Gary Conway and his charming wife, Marian, who was Miss America in 1956. Their daughter Kathleen, and her partner, winemaker Greg Cropper, run the 3k case operation, which features wines with the most beautiful of all wine labels I’ve ever seen. Gary Conway is an accomplished artist who revels in painting the ever-changing landscapes that surround him on this exquisitely beautiful estate property, which features both volcanic and limestone soils: each bottling gets its own custom label from his original artwork. Every bottle is truly a work of art, both inside and out. You can give any of these wines as beautiful gifts with utmost confidence.

This is a deep, dark, purple-hued Merlot with aromas of tarberry, dark chocolate, cigar box and dried cherry. On the palate, this wine is a Wow! Big, solid and somewhat angular at first, it opens to intense flavors of blackberry jam, cassis, green olives, hints of bacon and lots of herbs. It is still heavy-hitting with the tannins, and reminds one of a classic, Petrus-style Merlot, without the classic French barnyard aromas. Aged for 30 months in an interesting oak medley of 50% French, 35% American and 15% Hungarian oak barrels, this classic, varietally correct Merlot will amaze you with its sinewy power, and will delight you with its coffee and dark chocolate brownie finish.

Most excellent with well-marbled rib steak done over a charcoal fire, this wine tastes like a dark velvet night in the great outdoors, where you sit silently for hours under the watchful gaze of invisible creatures.

(Alc: 14.3%, Retail: $22)

Reviewed July 13, 2006 by Laura Ness.

The Wine

Winery: Carmody McKnight Estate Wines
Vineyard: Estate
Vintage: 2002
Wine: Merlot
Appellation: Paso Robles
Grape: Merlot
Price: 750ml $22.00

Review Date: 7/13/2006

The Reviewer

Laura Ness

A wine writer and wine judge for major publications and competitions around the country, Laura Ness likens wine to the experience of music. She is always looking for that ubiquitous marriage of rhythm, melody, and flawless execution. What is good music? You know it when you get lost in it. What is good wine? It is music in your mouth.