Text Size:-+
04.05.2004

2001 Sagelands Vineyard "Four Corners" Merlot, Columbia Valley, Washington

I have been searching for some lower priced wines that I can serve at a large birthday party and at a wedding, and I have already reviewed a possible choice here but I think I may end up serving this Sagelands because it is extremely accessible and I think most people will love it.

A friend of mine suggested this wine to me and after taking the bottle home I came across the "best buy" designation in my latest Wine Spectator. This wine is a big commercial release, which I tend to try and avoid (both drinking and writing about), but I'm always on the lookout for good values and great flavors regardless of the provenance. Produced by the Chalone Wine Group, which owns the Chalone and Dynamite labels among others, it's almost a textbook explanation for why America loves Merlot -- approachable, fruity, a little bit of spice, but generally something you would want to drink while standing around in an art gallery or reheating some leftovers at home.

Tasting Notes:
Colored somewhere between blood and ruby red, the wine opens with a nose of plum, rasins, eucalyptus, and i'll be darned if it isn't a little bit of cooked artichoke aroma in there. The body of the wine is soft with fruit flavors of currants, plum, and notes of black pepper. The tannins sit forward in the mouth, softly, and allow the wine to finish very smoothly.

Food Pairing:
I think this is a particularly good cheese wine (not for the kind of serious cheese you might be used to serving with wine, but mellower, art party type of cheese) that you might throw into a picnic basket and head off into the hills for some prosciutto and brie sandwiches with rosemary fig confit.

Overall Score: 7.5/8

How much?: $12-15

This wine can be found at gourmet markets like Whole Foods and Andronicos and can also be purchased online at various Internet merchants including Porthos.

Comments (0)

Comment on this entry

(will not be published)
(optional -- Google will not follow)
Yes
 

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Pre-Order My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Vinography Images: Rising Light Book Review: The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert The Beauty of 2011 Burgundy: Highlights from La Paulee de San Francisco Seven Percent Solution Tasting: May 8, San Francisco Vinography Images: Autumn Cellar Vinography Images: Vines and Sky Are You a Red, Pink or a Purple Wine Stater? 2014 TAPAS Iberian Varieties Tasting: April 27, San Francisco Taste Washington Day One in Brief Vinography Images: Trailing Vine

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month

 

Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.