Mojon's Bench2003 Merlot, Estate
Alexander Valley reds, especially Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots, have a regional fingerprint of fine, soft tannins and supple, expressive, juicy fruit. This appealing suppleness combines with dry, elegant fruit as opposed to the flashy, donut wines the popular US critics rave about, for a refreshingly unique style that deserves more attention.
Mojon’s Bench Merlot is an excellent illustration of Alexander Valley style, or “terroir”. This blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc comes from a hillside vineyard with rich, gravelly loam soils that was planted in the mid-1990’s with Clone 2 Merlot on C5 rootstock. The tiny, family-owned winery released only 490 cases of this wine, and at $25 a bottle it is worth seeking out.
While the nose is slightly closed in at first, it opens with strawberry, currant, cassis, and vanillin notes. On the palate the wine is varietally expressive with dark berry fruit, dusty notes, and, like a Merlot-based Bordeaux, is very slightly funky, like a ripe Brie. The wonderfully supple and juicy wine finishes with a slight chewiness, encouraging another bite of food, and, naturally, another sip of wine.
Reviewed November 20, 2006 by Catherine Fallis.
Other Awards & Accolades
Gold Medal - Sonoma County Harvest Fair
Silver Medal - San Francisco International Wine Competition
Other reviewed wines from Mojon's Bench
2004 Merlot, Estate
(Alexander Valley)Adam Dial 5/23/2008
Founder and President of Planet Grape LLC, a company committed to bringing the joy of wine, food, and good living into the lives of everyday people, Catherine is creator of the “grape goddess guides to good living,” a series of books, television presentations, seminars, and e-learning programs. The fifth woman in the world to become a Master Sommelier, grape goddess Catherine Fallis is still very much down-to-earth.