This is an old post that I neglected to submit back in November. Sometimes I'll write a few articles and hold on to them for use later. Rather than submit a half dozen posts in one weekend, I try to space things out a bit. Figured I might as well get this one published.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend I had the pleasure of dining with a couple of friends from high school. We had dinner at The Grove Grill in East Memphis, in the same shopping center as the Davis-Kidd bookstore. I had the barbecued duck, and ordered a bottle of the 2002 Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Merlot for the table. I don't normally order full bottles of wine in restaurants, but there were two other red wine drinkers present and I really wanted to try this wine. I got to taste it in 2004 at a blind tasting and again in 2005. In both cases it was the most full-bodied and hearty Merlot I'd ever tasted. (I've referred to it as the Merlot that will make you forget Sideways.) Deep purple color, dark and inky, with complex blackberry aromas and spice flavors. I wasn't disappointed with this tertiary tasting, which showed that this plucky little wine still has a long way to go before it softens.
After dinner, I declined dessert, instead comforting myself with the final glass of wine, riddled with flecks of sediment and tartrate crystals. I did accept a sip of Nocello from the lady to my left; it's a walnut and hazelnut liqueur similar to Frangelico but not syrupy sweet.