External Reviews for Mill Creek Vineyards Merlot Alexander Valley Reserve
Gunflint and pepper aromas lend complexity to the wine full of blackberry, tart cherry, spice and vanilla flavors.
I’m not sure the winery held back the release of this wine or what, but it’s worth remembering that 2001 was a very good year for northern California Merlot, particularly in the riverine valleys (Dry Creek Valley, Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley) where the soils are relatively rich but the climate’s still cooled by proximity to the ocean. I’m opening up 2001 Merlots with a gratifying run of success this summer, and this was one of the recent surprises. You could teach a class in Merlot with this wine, for one thing. It <i>smells</i> like Merlot, with chalky earth and savory herbal notes in the red plums and rhubarb. It also has that sideways sweetness on entry that won over so many new wine drinkers in the good old days: you know you’re drinking a serious red grape but at the same time it’s just not … that… serious. Once you get this Mill Creek 2001 rolling around in your mouth, you’ll find it’s a classy, confident Merlot with good juiciness late on top of lengthy tannins – always a great combination when you’re dining.