Smoking Loon Merlot 2004

Smoking Loon MerlotPrice: $6
Maker: Don Sebastiani & Sons, Napa County, California
Varietal: Merlot
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, artificial cork
Alcohol: 13.5%
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Smoking Loon Merlot 2004 is a seemingly offbeat wine from Don Sebastiani & Sons, joining other oddly named brands like Used Automobile Parts and Screw Kappa Napa. (Since the company seems to have two divisions, Three Loose Screws and The Other Guys, unusual names shouldn’t be surprising.) The label has no description of the wine itself, but features a little story about an apocryphal “Smoking Loon” character who “just appeared on their doorstep, like outta thin air or somethin.”

This Merlot has a nice cherry aroma with some woody – herbal notes. It’s medium bodied, with cherry and plum fruit, plus vanilla, oak, and a bit of chocolate. This is a smooth, very accessible wine that can be enjoyed even by those who aren’t regular wine drinkers.

Opininions Smoking Loon Merlot vary. The Wine Connosewer said, ” found it to be just okay to decent. Cherries, and smoke on the back side.” Wine Ignorance is Bliss found it “pretty good.” Virginie tried the 2003 vintage, and scored it a 7, noting, “Fruit forward style Merlot, very smooth and quite enjoyable it shows on the palate a medium entrance full of ripe red fruits such as raspberry enticed with light oaky flavors and a touch of spice.”

2 thoughts on “Smoking Loon Merlot 2004”

  1. I think Wine Connosewer summed it up is a drinkable wine, but it is supremely forgettable. There is some fruit, but the style is akin to many low end wines that are mass produced and have little if any saving grace other than it being cheap wine.

  2. First, thanks for the shout out, it is sincerely appreciated.

    True enough that Smoking Loon is cheap wine but the one main thing it has that sets it apart from many cheap cabs is that it doesn’t have that sickly sweetish cloying taste that is often described as cherries. I think it drinks better than the price would indicate.

    Earlier vintages had cooler labels too.

    I’m going to put a link on my site to yours. Better buy more bandwidth. 🙂 If you’d rather I didn’t do that, let me know.

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