June 30, 2013

Hernder Estate 2004 Merlot

Click here to read the original review from August 2008

(Re-Tasted June 2013) ... This is one of those wines that I have been eying up for probably the last two or three weeks wondering when I was going to pop the cork.  2004 was not a great year for red wine in Ontario so one that is 9 years old does not inspire confidence, plus it's everyone's love to hate grape, Merlot.  But Merlot is Ontario is mighty different.  For one, young Merlot is usually a little tight and harsh, so it takes a few years to develop that signature smooth and easy Merlot-ness that California and Chile seem to have right from the get-go.  This one did not start off very well ... the aromas were funky and weird and there was even a note of stinky blue cheese to it ... this does not bode well.  The palate was pretty rough and tumble with vanilla and cedar being the dominant elements with hints of sour cherry and wood spice ... not only was this wine getting old it was old.  But I thought I would give it a little time to open before I passed complete judgment of thumbs down.  But a funny thing happened between first assessment and "one more try" - the wine woke up.  After about 30-45 minutes a miracle occurred, the stinky nose remained, but the palate opened and became juicy with sweet dried cherry and red licorice ... some spiced cherry also emerged on the nose, but the blue cheese-ness was always lingering about.  If you have any of this wine kicking about you might want to open and decant ... but I also wouldn't wait much longer to enjoy this one.

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