Dark Horse Merlot 2014

According to Merriam Webster, a dark horse is a “little known competitor that makes an unexpectedly good showing.”  Interesting how the idea of a dark horse has been inspiration for artists (and politicians) for … well, a long time.

Winemaker: Dark Horse
Varietal: Merlot
Vintage: 2014
Appellation: California
Price: $8.99

Notes: In the bouquet this Dark Horse presented jammy dark fruit, cedar, and damp loam.  At 13.5% alcohol, it was medium-bodied with moderate tannins.  Acidity was good as well.  On the palate I found dark berries and plum with touches of cinnamon and molasses.  Of course it wasn’t as sweet as molasses.  I thought this Merlot might be good served with game fowl, but it was fine to sip alone.

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Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

I love it when somebody recommends a wine to me, especially when their recommendation is on point for my personal preferences.  I’m happy to say that’s what happened with this budget Cab.

Winemaker:  Dark Horse
Varietal:  Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage:  2013
Appellation:  California
Price:  $12.99*

Notes:  This purpley Cab had a bouquet including oak, barnyard, mint, vanilla and dark berries.  It was medium-bodied with good acidity and moderate tannins.  Alcohol was at 13.5%.  Flavors I detected were a fruit foundation of plum and dark berry, sweet clove, pepper, oak, and a touch of tar.  This wine was a pretty good mouthful of viniferous enjoyment.  It was especially round and full right at opening, but it remained quite nice throughout for an inexpensive Cab.  A decent value.

* This was the retail price listed at the store where I bought my bottle.  I got it on sale, but I’ve also seen it available for a much lower price (while supplies last, I suppose) at Trader Joe’s.