I think this is the first wine I’ve reviewed that I haven’t bought. My roommate, the budding wine aficionado, brought home two bottles of wine, one of which was this Red Rock Merlot which he instructed me to taste and review. So, here goes. To begin, I really liked this wine, so much so that I downed ¾ of the bottle in one night – sorry Nate! Once it hits your lips, it’s so good…
The aroma of this merlot was fruity raspberry with some typical grape-appropriate tannins. The taste was dark cherry, plum and raspberry. A very fruity merlot, all things considered, which may disappoint a lot of merlot-ers out there (of which there are few ever since Sideways was released in theaters). But the merlot-ic tannins are actually toned down by the fruit, so the wine is actually well-balanced and, as such, appropriate for casual drinking or with a variety of food items (pasta, pizza, grilled chicken would all do well. A nice beef stew would probably go really well with this too).
OK, now for a little background. If you go to Red Rock’s website, there really isn’t anything about the winery’s history – no “about” section or anything. I mean, I can’t blame them. If you’re interested in drinking wine, you’d want to know about the wine and not the winery, right? Well that was a little disappointing since I think this is a great wine and the winery should display itself a little more openly. In fact, I tried looking them up on GoogleMaps to no avail. They are, for some reason, quite well hidden out of the public eye. Perhaps my roommate will have more luck in finding them?
An intriguing morsel I found, however, was that Red Rock may make beer as well as wine. Amazing! Now again, tell me why they didn’t post this on their website? The case may very well be that their beer was horrible and they discontinued it. Always a possibility in the dog-eat-dog world of microbrewing. Whatever the cause, Red Rock is a bit shadowy when it comes to itself, and I’m guessing it’s because they have an underground monkey-trading operation. That’s right, monkeys. Who would guess? It’s a perfect cover up! Actually no, I have no idea why the winery is so inconspicuous. As far as I can tell, the winery and its vineyards are in Merced, California, a relatively small, 100,000 population “sleepy town” according to Wikipedia.
Something else I found while research Red Rock is the significance of its Merlot label. Another blogger, Benito’s Wine Reviews, chose this wine in August because there’s a cairn on its label. A cairn, for those of you who don’t hike, is a pile of stones which mark an important spot along the way, such as a turn or a good place to camp, or as a gravesite. So, basically, a cairn guides both the living and dead along their path. It’s a wonderfully simple thing, really, but serves such an important purpose. So, the fact that Red Rock has a cairn on its wine is significant – they are guiding us along the way of good wine. At least I think that’s what it means. In any event, pretty cool.