Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Jekel Vineyards Merlot

Jekel Vineyards

2003 Merlot
(Arroyo Seco)

Although the label for this wine lists the AVA as Monterey, the grapes all come from the Sanctuary Vineyard in Arroyo Seco. Arroyo Seco is a cool, windy appellation better known for Chardonnay, but the rocky Sanctuary Vineyard is in a warm enough pocket to successfully ripen the traditional red Bordeaux varieties.

This Merlot contains about 9 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 6 percent Syrah, 4 percent Cabernet Franc and 3 percent Petit Verdot. This is not one of those wimpy Merlots that gave the grape its reputation as “Cabernet lite.’’ It’s firmly structured, with bright, concentrated black cherry and plum, accented by notes of tobacco, spice and mocha. The wine was even better the next day, after the tannins had relaxed a bit and the wine had a chance to open up.

You could cellar this wine for a couple of years, but if you insist on drinking it right away, pair it with a substantial meat dish. At $15, it’s attractively priced, too.

Reviewed August 17, 2006 by Laurie Daniel.

Other reviewed wines from Jekel Vineyards

Jekel Vineyards
2005 Merlot
(Arroyo Seco)
Laurie Daniel 5/23/2008
Jekel Vineyards
2007 Riesling
Laurie Daniel 4/30/2008

The Wine

Winery: Jekel Vineyards
Vintage: 2003
Wine: Merlot
Appellation: Arroyo Seco
Grape: Merlot
Price: 750ml $14.99

Review Date: 8/17/2006

The Reviewer

Laurie Daniel

Laurie Daniel, wine columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, has been reviewing wine for more than 10 years. She doesn’t use numbers, preferring to describe her recommended wines and let consumers decide for themselves. Laurie believes that bigger isn’t necessarily better; she’s partial to wines of balance, finesse and character. Her particular interests are Pinot Noir (versions that really taste like Pinot, that is) and aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Gewürztraminer.