This 100% Merlot was aged for 18 months in 30% new French oak barrels which gives the wine 'a touch of wood: not too much, not too little, but just the right balance”. When we first took in the aroma of this wine, our immediate reaction was “mmm, this is a pretty Merlot from Bordeaux” with classic scents of cassis, black plum, black licorice and a touch of cedar-y spice. The fuller-bodied palate continues with those darker-fruited flavors in a nicely juicy, ripe, yet not overly ripe, way. It is a well-balanced wine that ends with both a lovely, silky texture and semi-firm, tannic structure which indicates this pretty, elegant Merlot from Bordeaux is headed for the long haul. While it could benefit from a little decanting and would be best served alongside a nice, juicy steak like a fatty rib-eye, it drinks well on its own after it opens up in the glass.