Swanson 1999 Merlot (Napa Valley)

Its concentrated flavors and deep, inky color gave one taster the impression that this wine was a Zin (remember, we're tasting blind, here). That hypothesis was understandable, given this Merlot's raspberry, mocha and oak flavors, which are accented by some herb and white pepper. Begins and ends with similar notes, plus some mineral dustiness. A tasty, internationally styled wine, though not what you'd find in the dictionary under “Merlot.”

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