Wine Review: Montpellier Merlot 2006

The Backwards Merlot

The Montpellier Merlot was another find at Cost Plus World Market. We were trying to see if we could pick up three bottles for under $20, and we just about did it. The Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir was another of the three, and the third is still to come. The Montepellier Merlot is unlike any of the other red wines we’ve ever had for one reason: It gets worse with air.

That’s like saying raising a kid gets easier as they enter the teen years.

We always recommend that you decant every single red wine, no matter how cheap. Two Buck Chuck? Throw it into that decanter and you might get an extra two bucks worth of flavor out of it.

But not the Montpellier Merlot. This wine actually increased in bitterness and lost all of its fruit once it had been opened and decanted. The reason I know this is because we popped the bottle, and enjoyed a taste. Delicious. We were looking forward to the fruit blooming even more and the earthy tones becoming more pronounced once it had sat in the decanter for an hour.

Our mistake. Here we go:

COLOR: Fair but still enticing. The wine exudes a kind of unfiltered quality and deep burgundy in the color.

NOSE: Blueberries with red sour gumballs. Sugar and earth. The dirt is palpable.

TASTE #1 (Just opened): Beautiful, ripe blueberries with sour blackcurrant and a good shot of milk chocolate right in the middle. Good finish with structure and tongue-drying tannins. Soil flavor left as a delicious reminder of the varietal.

TASTE #2 (Decanted): Vinegar and figs. Honestly, that’s all I can say. This wine lost its oomph through decanting. WTF? The structure was gone, the fruit withered and the finish was like a spoiled white wine. Obviously drink it immediately after opening.

WITH FOOD: Well, seeing as how you need to drink it right after popping it, we would suggest you wait until your appetizer of grapes and hard stinky cheese is ready. For a meal, try a decent pizza with some linguica or salami on it, or pair it with a good cut of lamb or perhaps even a nice duck with field greens and some orange peel.

WHERE TO BUY: $6.19 on sale at!


About $6.99 at Cost Plus World Market (In store only)!

Check out our other Merlot reviews!

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