Maker: Don Sebastiani & Sons, Napa, California
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, artificial cork
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10
The first surprise one encounters with Pepperwood Grove Merlot 2004 is the cork – it’s a snow-white artificial plug. The bottle itself features a cool, clean, contemporary look. No cute animals, no vineyard sketches… just an unpretentious, but elegantly modern, label. In the glass, the aroma is a robust mix of leather, pepper, and berry. The flavor of this merlot has strong oak notes, mixed with mild fruit and soft tannins. The finish has a slightly peppery kick. Overall, the flavors are balanced and blended for a taste that is straightforward but has complexity if you look for it.
There’s not a lot of information about the brand on the Don Sebastiani website, but we learned that the 2003 vintage of Pepperwood Grove Merlot has earned some nice recognition…
- Gold – 2005 Orange County Fair
- Silver – 2005 Riverside International Wine Competition
- Best Buy – Wine Enthusiast June 2005
- Top 100 Values of 2005 – Wine & Spirits Buying Guide 2006
Overall, we like this wine, and you will too if you want a wine that’s easy to appreciate but not excessively fruity.