Maker: Barefoot Cellars, Napa, California
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, artificial cork
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10
When Barefoot Merlot made AOL’s Best Cheap Wines list, we knew we had to try it out. We’d tried a couple of their other reds in the last year, Barefoot Zinfandel and Barefoot California Syrah, and liked the Zin more. While I’m not sure that I’d put Barefoot Merlot in my top 5 list for cheap wines, it’s certainly a worthy entrant in the category. Immediately after uncorking, the wine seemed a bit bland; a short breathing period seemed to open up the flavors quite a bit. The aroma is mild, with weak berry and leather notes. The flavor is more assertive. Barefoot Merlot is medium-bodied, with blackberry and mocha notes, well-structured tannins, and a moderately lengthy finish. The balance in this sub-$7 is impressive.
According to the Barefoot website,
Jennifer Wall, Barefoot Winemaker, was hired in September of 1995. “Barefoot California wines are perfect as everyday dinner wines for wine connoisseurs of all levels of experience,” comments Wall. “The wines are affordable, varietally correct, soft and approachable and are immediately ready to drink off the shelf.”
We find that characterization of Barefoot wines to be quite accurate based on the three we’ve tried so far. Next is their Cabernet Sauvignon…