Cycles Gladiator Merlot 2008
Score: N/A Tasting Notes: This deep ruby Merlot greets the nose with an inviting mix of ripe fruit and earthy aromas. Juicy black cherry and blackberry flavors mingle with wisps wood shavings. The lush fruit is complemented by hints of tobacco, black licorice and spice. A punch of tannins dances on the tongue, then tapers off, melting to a pleasant finish. Approachable and easy drinking, this Merlot is a good match for medium-weight foods. Pair it with entrees such as seared duck with cherry sauce or meatloaf with buttery mashed potatoes. For a smaller meal, try black bean soup or a roast beef sandwich with cheddar, arugula and red onion.
Cycles Gladiator symbolizes a celebration of the freedom and happiness that pervaded Europe in the late 19th century—an era known as the Belle Epoque. This era marked many notable inventions and improvements to daily life, not the least of which was the modern bicycle or Le Bicycle Velocipede.
External Reviews for Cycles Gladiator Merlot
Appealing for its black cherry and herb notes and flavors, which balance easygoing fruit with decent structure. Drink now through 2013.
Made from grapes harvested while cool and touched by the morning dew, the richly colored Cycles Gladiator Central Coast Merlot exhibits a lovely aromatic nose of Emperor Cherry, blackberry and cedar underscored with a subtle hint of pencil shavings and fresh moss. Lush red fruit fills the mouth with increasing intensity and then finishes with plum and green flavors that fill the background. The tannins are substantial at the front yet melt with on the palate, offering a velvety richness opposite of the typically harsh and bitter characteristics of some Merlots. A unique, cool-climate acidity suspends the experience well into the finish. This wine is decidedly ripe and lush, yet substantial enough to stand up to the most demanding cuisine. It is an excellent wine to share at a dinner party. Try paired with an array of savory appetizers such as mushroom- and sausage-smothered polenta squares, skewered peppery beef teriyaki or lamb kabobs with a reduced raspberry balsamic marinade or a complete meal of slow-roasted lamb shank with a butter bean, sautéed mushroom and white onion combo. If cooking sounds too tedious, simply open and enjoy with a grilled burger and classic French fries. - Winery
Doesn't have quite the concentration of many more expensive Merlots, but fills a nice niche in an affordable red wine that's full-bodied, dry and elegant. Offers pleasant flavors of cherries, red currants, cola and oak.
Ripe and juicy, with easygoing cherry, toasty caramel, spice and sage flavors. Drink now.
What an interesting wine this is. Classic California Merlot, soft and rich, with a burst of cherry, raspberry and mocha flavors, and spicy, smoky vanilla from considerable new oak. But the addition of Petite Sirah, Syrah and Cab Sauvignon give it added depth, texture and nuance. At this price, stock up by the case.