Montes 2001 "Special Cuvee" Colchagua Valley Reserve Merlot ($10.49)
The characteristic cherry-and-vanilla scent of Merlot made in oak dominates the aroma of this very dark garnet wine from Chile, along with aromatic notes that offer a good illustration of volatile acidity in red wine: High-toned but not unpleasant, literally "lifting" the wine's fruit flavors. Ripe, tart fruit flavors are held in place by a firm acidic backbone, with simple fruit and snappy acidity in a medium-long finish. The volatility seems to increase a bit with time in the glass after dinner, taking on a more intrusive furniture-polish (or, if you prefer, "floral") quality; perhaps it's best with food. US Importer: T.G.I.C. Importers Inc., Woodland Hills, Calif. (Apr 4, 2003)

FOOD MATCH: Good with any red meat or mild cheese; it was fine with a simply prepared pork chop braised with potatoes and onions in the French bonne maman style.



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