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Tasting Report: 2007 Robert Foley Merlot

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

When I tasted through wines from Robert Foley Vineyards at a dinner at BOKX109 in Newton last year, my favorite was the Merlot.  The 2006 Claret (a wine made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon) was a little tight at the time and for immediate consumption I thought the Merlot was drinking much more enjoyably- and cost half as much.

With the highly-anticipated 2007 Napa Cabs and Merlots coming to market I was looking forward to trying the new releases from Foley.  I was surprised to see the alcohol content on the Merlot: 16.2%!

I doubt I'd have guessed the alcohol was so high if I hadn't seen it on the label.  I'd consider 14% about average for Napa Cab and Merlot, and 15% the high water mark.  I've seen 16% Shiraz and Zinfandel, but never a Merlot this high.

Those I shared it with really liked it.  One said: This might be the best wine I've ever had.  What can I say?  America (or at least some part of it) loves the high alcohol wines.

Wine Spectator rated this wine 91 points.  Robert Parker rated it 95 points.

My Notes:

2007 Robert Foley Vineyards Merlot
$52 Release Price
16.2% Alcohol

Remarkably bold and flavorful.  No way I'd identify this as a Merlot blind.  Shiraz maybe.  Napa Cab probably.  Very big and serious with tons of delicious fruit and a bit of anise.  The alcohol was occasionally slightly-searing, but overall the stunningly-high 16.2% alcohol is well concealed.  Don't operate a motor vehicle after tasting this one, but quite nice and heartwarming in moderation.

92 WWP/Outstanding

Purchased at the Hingham Wine Merchant
Shop for this wine on Wine-Searcher.com
Opinions are favorable on CellarTracker with median of 93 from 15 reviews.

Question of the Day: What do you think of the wines from Robert Foley Vineyards?

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