The Oeno File: 2008 Robert Foley Merlot

May 27th, 2011

By Chris Gill

After Merlot was viciously attacked by Paul Giamatti’s character in the film Sideways, sales plummeted as uneducated drinkers suddenly assumed the wine was uncool. As a result, many imbibers continue to overlook some incredibly killer wines, from the outrageously expensive (but worth every penny) Château Pétrus to Robert Foley’s seductive and sensuous Napa Valley Merlot wines.

Foley’s 2008 Merlot—made from a combination of Howell Mountain fruit and grapes grown in the warmer Napa Valley floor—is hands down the best Merlot I’ve ever tasted from a West Coast vintner. In fact, I dare say it even rivals Pétrus when it comes to sheer hedonistic pleasure. While it may not have the aromatically complex floral perfumed nose of a Pomerol masterpiece, it is every bit as concentrated, filling the mouth with an explosion of blackberry, milk chocolate, and espresso, with an underlying hint of vanilla, mint, and licorice. The tannins are soft and silky, which makes the wine irresistible to drink now, but patient drinkers will certainly be rewarded in spades after letting this powerhouse age for another five to ten years.

For more information visit Robert Foley Vineyards