Maker: Ernest & Julio Gallo, Modesto, California
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, artificial cork
Our Rating: 8 out of 10
We tried Gallo Twin Valley Merlot after a reasonably successful experience with Gallo Twin Valley Shiraz. Like the Shiraz, we found this Gallo Merlot to be fairly light, bland, and inoffensive. We found berry aromas with an oddly medicinal off-note in this wine’s nose. The flavor was an improvement, with cherry and plum notes mixed with oak. The oak and tannins were most prominent in the finish. This isn’t a great Merlot by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s better than the cheap 5-liter box Merlots and isn’t likely to offend anyone. As indicated on the label, it’s “approachable,” which I take to mean most of your party guests won’t completely hate it.
The Gallo website suggests pairing the Twin Valley Shiraz with several cheeses, including Smoked Cheddar, Smoked Jack, and Provolone. It seems like we’ve been bottom-feeding for a few days by reviewing REALLY low-end wines. We’ll try to review a few more interesting wines in the next week.