Gallo Family Vineyards: Sonoma Reserve 2005 Merlot
Ernest Gallo is a self-made man who has found much success. His goal for the family vineyard was to become the "Campbell soup company of the wine industry".
This history is what holds much of the attraction for drinking Gallo wines. We want to experience the story; to soak up the determination that made them successful; maybe even absorb Ernest's ability to become captain of his own destiny. And finally, to see what success tastes like. I do believe that this particular wine is a product that is steeped in tradition and American history from the struggles of being a pioneer to becoming a corporate entity.
Well, in this case, success is very easy to drink! Before we knew it, the bottle was gone.
You are greeted and beckoned by a classy label in an elegantly shaped bottle with gold embossed redwoods. Actually the stylish label says a lot about Gallo's sales philosophy. He knows how to sell wine.
The color of the wine itself is a dark reddish brown. There was sediment in the first glass even though it stood upright for a few days before drinking... an attribution to the traditional methods of wine making and to the fact that this wine is 7 years old.
You will want to breathe in the wine's vapors before tasting (and after). This wine's classic bouquet will enhance your tasting experience. In fact, it's aroma was somewhere between intense and powerful.
The Sonoma Valley Reserve Merlot has a great start and is a bit on the light side. There are many good flavors with moderate intensity throughout the middle of the mouth. The flavor does not last as long nor is it as intense as the aroma, and is slightly tannic, but at the same time very smooth. This being merlot, I was looking for velvet; instead I found a nice brushed suede.
Overall, I give the Sonoma Valley Reserve a 3.5 for a very nice experience.
"My first grade teacher told me I was the dumbest student she ever had. She did me a favor. If she had told me I was very smart, I wouldn't have tried to improve." ~ Ernest Gallo