Swanson Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot 2018, California

It’s time for some Merlot on this #MerlotThursday.

Dark ruby in color with a purplish rim.

Strong nose of blackberries, black plums, cooked cherries, cedar, light alcohol, vanilla, spices and black pepper.

Full bodied with medium acidity and long legs.

Dry on the palate with black currants, plums, oak, tobacco, licorice, earth, coffee, dark chocolates, pencil lead and peppercorn.

Long finish with grippy tannins and tangy raspberries.

This is a very tasty Napa Merlot. Still young but already enjoyable even by itself. Nicely balanced with a nice mouthfeel.

Good right out of the bottle and gets better with airtime. I gave it 90 minutes in the decanter.

Still young and would be better in a few years.

I had the 2012 a few years ago, but did not enjoy it as much. Glad to see that this vintage is delicious.

A blend of Merlot with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Aged for 17 months in French and American oak barrels.

14.6% alcohol by volume.

92 points.

$35.

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