Joining a wine club always seems like a great idea, especially after you’ve had a few free pours in the tasting room. Over the years we’ve joined different ones and always dropped them within the year, overwhelmed with a backlog of pretty-good bottles.
Except Medlock Ames. We joined almost five years ago, back when the club was the only way to even get their wine. Four years or so ago we bought a club membership for our friends’ wedding present, and the four of us have been traveling to their “pickup parties” once a quarter ever since.
Except, of course, we still have the backlog. So last night our friends brought their four years of Merlot, we added one more (and in the process discovered that we easily have enough MA Cabernet Sauvignon to do another vertical night in the near future) and we decided to taste them all year by year.
To generalize, 2008 and 2007 were both bright and vegetal (for merlots); 2006 was just about perfect, with lovely leathery tannins that coat your mouth; 2005 was incredibly drinkable, with an easy-to-down juiciness; and 2003 had a hint of rubbing alcohol that remained even after it had been decanted for a few hours. As Medlock Ames recommends holding their merlots for 5-8 years, this all seemed just about right. Either 2006 was an especially good year (from the little I could glean off the MA website, it seems it was a tough year weather-wise) or this bottle was just aged for the optimal amount of time.
We finished 5 bottles easily (ok, half of one ended up on the floor. Not our fault, I swear) and paired them with homemade pasta and donuts for dessert.