VILLA YAMBOL Merlot 2014
The grapes for this wine were grown in the Valley of Tundzha River, where there’s moderate maroon-forest soil. More than 102 sunny days a year is seen here and the autumns are mildly warm. The final wine has a 13.35% ABV.
It’s 100% Merlot and sees no oak. Let’s dig in! The color is a purple-tinted garnet. And clarity? What clarity? It’s dark as the darkest pit of hell. I can’t even see light come through from the other side!
Ahhhh yessss. That is the smell of Merlot. Blackberries and blueberries. I love it so much that it kills me when people still cling to their refusal to drink Merlot. The first thing to hit your mouth is bright acidity and freshly picked blueberries. The mid-palate has juicy plums and blackberry. It has a medium body and smooth tannin. Soooooo smooth. As soon as you swallow the flavors pick up with intensity, and once it’s settled down the finish goes back to the blueberries it started with.
As I said in my review of VINI’s 2013 Merlot, the varietal is the clear king of quality in the $8-12 price range. VINI’s Merlot was really good but it blended into the crowd of other Merlot’s in $9 price so I gave it a 3 out of 5.
Villa Yambol’s Merlot, however, is exceptional. Seriously exceptional. For $11 it’s an outstanding deal. Earlier this month I sang the praise of VINI’s 2013 Rosé and last week drooled over Domaine Boyar’s 2012 Merlot, but this is the one that makes me want Vance from BulgarianWine.com to find a distributor in Massachusetts. Because I would be ordering this in a heart-beat. In a friggin heart-beat. No lie.
THIS is what Merlot is all about and it makes it clear why Merlot from Bulgaria was so successful 30 years ago. If you’re a Merlot hater and I sat you down and put this in front of you and you didn’t like it then you’re full of shit. You gotta be.