2005 Twomey Napa Valley Merlot
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright, deep red-ruby. Red berries, tobacco, pine resin and a whiff of herbs on the nose. Suave, young and dry, with a slightly tart quality to the flavors of plum, redcurrant and tobacco. There's a light greenness here but also a subtle smoky sweetness. Finishes fresh and firm, with a fine dusting of tannins. This has been a consistently intriguing and understated merlot in recent vintages.
Proof that Merlot's bad rap is entirely unjustified, the 2005 Twomey Merlot is luscious and balanced with plenty of stuffing to drink well for more than a decade. It comes from the Soda Canyon Ranch at the southeastern edge of Napa, where volcanic soils yield tiny, concentrated berries. Spicy, gamey with fine-grained tannins, this is a great Merlot for fans and one that will surely win over skeptics.