Wente Vineyards Sandstone Estate Merlot is a deep burgundy in the glass, and yet you can see right through it like a flawless gem. It emits strong initial aromas of the ripest blueberries. Secondary aromas include darker fruits, such as figs and even a bit of dried fruits, like currents. There’s also an underlying, background aroma of that kind of brambly bush — like you can smell the greenery along with the brown branches from the bushes or trees these fruits grow on.
On the palate, those blueberries immediately burst forth with a complimentary acidity that just livens the tastebuds. As those subside, the mid-palate will bring forth a bit of the darker notes — that fig, that current — along with a softening in the mouthfeel. As the flavors and textures soften, you’ll get a bit of that toasted oak, which is what will make you think of those earthy elements you sensed on the nose.
The tannins come in, ever so delicately at the very last second, adding strength to the wine and creating an overall balanced and solid finish.