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1996 Van Asperen Merlot Merlot

USA California North Coast Napa

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Van Asperen Merlot Merlot 1996
On the decline, and time to drink up
Life is a Cabernet
Life is a Cabernet

Rated  on May 21, 2008

Had this wine for the first time years ago at a local restaurant in San Jose, CA. Enjoyed the 1995 Cab as well at the same place. Enjoyed both so much I drove to Napa and picked up a case of each. 5 bottles of the Merlot remain..and it is time to drive...and maybe even dispose of some.

I had not opened a bottle of this in 3 or 4 years. The color is fading...almost a Pinot Noir color and lacking any opaqueness. With just a splash in the glass, sort of a blood orange color with an overall dark burnt orange color. At first I thought it may just have been a bad bottle. Checked the cork and everything looked fine and the oder was not foul.

The scent was heavily subdued from what I remembered of this wine. More floral now than fruit nosed. Slight prune and cherry licorice comes through.

On the palate, mostly the alcohol comes through. There is 'some sort of fruit' there but the alcohol ,and 'hotness' from that, is overwhelming.

Very disappointing. I will open another bottle this weekend and see if perhaps this was an anomaly or if this wine is now well past its prime. I'll update the review if I find anything different. Previouslt this would have been a 3.75 start wine. The Cab was a firm 4 for me.

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