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Lone Canary: A True Merlot, Through and Through

Good evening, my fellow wine enthusiasts!  I cannot believe how quickly this last week has escaped me!  I truly hope this newest post finds you well! I sit here tonight trying to unwind from my first week in graduate school.  I’m told this will be my last weekend to myself, and that I’d better enjoy it.  I fear how true these words may ring.  But until then…Let’s drink!  And I’m quite in the mood for a Merlot.  I blipped on my last review of a Merlot, one by Columbia Crest H3, making the mistake in thinking it was a true Merlot, one being composed of 100% Merlot grapes.  I was wrong.  I believe I made the correction, I should check.  In fact, the H3 Merlot, a fabulous Merlot, is 96% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1% Malbec.  As it turns out, finding a wine crafted as 100% of any varietal is pretty hard to find.  Well, if you love Merlot, you are in luck!  Tonight I bring you the 2006 Merlot by Lone Canary.  And yes, verified to be 100% Merlot grape.

Lone Canary is a winery located in beautiful Spokane, Washington.  I try to frequent them every few months, and was there just a couple of weeks ago for the BirdWatchers Election Party.  Lone Canary produced three new wines, and the attendees voted on favorites.  I lost.  I’m not certain who the winner was, but it was not the Petit Verdot.   Too bad, it was a wine worth getting excited over.  My disclaimer on Lone Canary is that I do really like most of their wines, and for the price, they cannot be beat.  Their winemaker made a remark that he could charge double what is charged now for his wines.  I concur, I did concur.  Though my agreement was quickly followed up with a, “please don’t! I’m only a grad student!”  To that, I made him promise me he’d wait to jack the prices up.  Ha ha.  Riiiiight… but until then, the Merlot!  Oh, and no, I don’t get any wine for free, or even discounted.

On the nose, this wine presents with deep black cherries and plum, hint of earth, and black tea.  The notes of cherry and plum follow through onto the palate, making this a welcoming fruit-forward Merlot.  Dark chocolate and spice are also noted, and the sip rounds out with olive on the finish.  The tannins are smooth, the finish as silky as you might expect with the flavor profile.  This Merlot sticks with me, a lingering finish;  it’s been a while since a wine has earnestly requested that I just sit back and enjoy all that it has to offer.

New label Merlot. May also be a white label

Now, I’m not a strong advocate of “red wine ‘x’ must be paired with dish ‘x'”, as I believe a good wine will stand on its own, and should not be bogged down, or even elevated, by a dish.  Do some wines do better with certain foods? Of course, but if you have to eat “just the right meal” to enjoy the wine, well, I (personally) question how much I like the wine.  Although, I still stand strong to not mix red wine with (most) fish/seafood dishes.  “I had a bad experience!”  (“The Italian Job”). But I must throw in here: tonight’s dinner is a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup.  Comfort food, absolutely.  Surprisingly, the Merlot and the soup do well together.  So what’s my final verdict…..

Lone Canary 2006 Merlot:  ★★★★ great wine!

This wine will set you back roughly $20.  And yes, it is worth the price.  I don’t often see a good Merlot below this price point (the H3, if you catch it on sale), and so if you are looking for a good wine, you’ll find it here!  Locally, Lone Canary is often seen in a few grocery stores, and of course, in the wine room downtown.  Don’t live in the Spokane area and are unsure where to go?  Contact Lone Canary via their webpage at http://www.lonecanary.com and fill out the order form or just give them a call!  Don’t tell them I sen you, they’d have no idea who I was.  My final say on this wine, as well as the H3, is that I am glad I decided to give Merlot a second chance.  It is a beautiful wine, wonderfully crafted, and well-deserving of a place in your collection.

Have you tried this wine before?  Please share your experiences in the comments below!

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