White Oak 1999 Merlot (Sonoma County)

Marries Merlot's dark stone fruit character with an earthier one redolent of mushrooms, violets and an intriguing meaty note. A portion of Cabernet Sauvignon adds blackcurrant aromas. In the mouth, it's really nice, round, supple and lush, with good balance. Dry, tart acids and dusty tannins make it drinkable now. —S.H.

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