I was brough to my knees with this bottle of Shinn Estate Vineyards 2006 Nine Barrels Reserve Merlot ($43).
It is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Verdot. It is called Nine Barrels because Shinn Estate Vineyards chooses the best 9 barrels of Merlot and blends this wine to make this “crown jewel of the cellar”. The crown should be worn proudly.
I decided to open this the other night while my wife was working late. I made myself a rib eye steak and a green salad for dinner and decided to tweet while I eat. It drew the attention of some including David Page, the co-owner of Shinn Estate Vineyards, himself.
On the nose I was picking up loads of fruity goodness with some earthy goodness too. THere was some dried cherry, plum, tobacco, coffee, lavender, earthy mushroom goodness and a little granite and graphite aroma’s. The fruit was right up front with everything else enhancing the aroma.
When I tasted it, the fruit was not as pronounced, but that was ok, because there was a spice element that made this wine dance on my tongue. I was tasting some chocolate covered roasted chili pepper, more earthy mushroom, some graphite, roasted coffee, grilled fig, some exotic spice like cardamom and coriander and some minty herbal notes.
The finish was long and in the end I was picking up a little chocolate covered cherry.
There is not much left of this wine, only a few cases of the 225 that were made. So I would make sure you pick up some of this. It my be a little pricy for most, but it worth the price tag.
A few may have said that the 2006 vintage was not a great vintage due to climate conditions, but this may be the best wine I have tasted from the 2006 vintage, and this may be becoming my favorite Merlot ever.
$43 might be a tough nut to crack, but if you want that special bottle for that special occasion to go along with that special meal, then this is the wine I highly recommend.