ReserveMerlot-png_0 In addition to drinking a lot of sparkling wine over New Years, I also popped open a bottle of 2007 Barnard Griffin Reserve Merlot.  As much as I loved the bubbly, this Merlot was the star of the evening for me.

While I was in Washington this summer, I visited the Barnard Griffin winery in Richland.  Rob Griffin has been making wine under his own label since 1983 and opened the Barnard Griffin tasting room in 1996.  Along with some great wine, you can also check out some cool glass sculptures made by the artist, Deborah Barnard. 

The 2007 Merlot has 14.2% alcohol, and will set you back about $30.

This wine has an absolutely beautiful nose with big time aromas that really make me think of buttered popcorn and caramel, along with vanilla, cherries and raspberries.  The palate stays strong, with a silky smooth feel, like a satin nightgown.  I am getting just a little bit of oak, with more buttery vanilla and sour cherries and cassis.

The 2007 Barnard Griffin Reserve Merlot is pretty easily my favorite Merlot that I have had in quite some time.  This wine is incredible by itself, and only gets better with food.  A little pizza makes it shine.  At $30, it certainly isn't cheap, but I think that it is worth every penny.  If you are in the Tri-Cities area in Washington, I would definitely recommend that you stop by and pick up a bottle of this wine.