Maker: Five Rivers Winery, Hopland, California
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Our Rating: 8 out of 10
Five Rivers Merlot 2003, from California’s Central Coast, is a pleasant and affordable wine. It greets the nose with berries and spice, and its flavor is plummy oak, with an emphasis on the oak. Soft tannins lead into a moderately long finish. We tried it with some smoky Gouda cheese, and the pairing seemed to bring out the fruit in the wine.
Five Rivers Winery is apparently an offshoot of well-known winemaker Fetzer. The marketing theme seems to involve a goddess who adds something extra to the wines. Whether or not goddesses are involved, this Merlot has been well accepted, judging by some of its awards:
- Gold – Pacific Rim Int’l Wine Competition in 2004
- Gold – Critic’s Challenge 2004
- Silver – San Francisco chronicle Wine Competition 2005
- Silver – West Coast Wine Competition 2004
If you like a Merlot that’s not overly fruity but still offers flavor and complexity, give Five Rivers Central Coast Merlot a try.