Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Cima Collina 2004 Merlot, Cedar Lane Vineyard (Arroyo Seco)

Cima Collina

2004 Merlot, Cedar Lane Vineyard
(Arroyo Seco)

Let’s face it: It’s not easy to find distinctive California Merlot. The grape has become a victim of its success. It’s been planted all over the state, often in places that are completely wrong, and then it’s overcropped, resulting in thin, weedy, astringent wines.

So what a pleasant surprise it was to taste winemaker Annette Hoff’s Cima Collina Merlot. The grape source, Cedar Lane Vineyard, is a cool, windy site with very rocky soil in the Arroyo Seco AVA. The fog burns off early, but the wind moderates temperatures, giving early-ripening Merlot extra hang time.

The wine spends 14 months in French oak; half of the barrels are new. The resulting wine is dense and concentrated, with flavors of black currant, cherry and vanilla, accented by a hint of mint. The tannins are firm but approachable, leading to a long finish. At $35, this Merlot isn’t cheap, and not much of it was made, but it’s worth looking for.

Reviewed November 1, 2006 by Laurie Daniel.

Other reviewed wines from Cima Collina


The Wine

Winery: Cima Collina
Vineyard: Cedar Lane Vineyard
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Merlot
Appellation: Arroyo Seco
Grape: Merlot
Price: 750ml $35.00

Review Date: 11/1/2006

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.