From the bottle
'Dark, rich and dashingly tasty, this Merlot hails from the Central Valley region....Soft and dry with hints of ripe plums, black cherries and blueberries... perfect when paired with lamb or beef dishes'
Price £6.99 (Available from Tesco, Martin McColl, Morrisons)
Echo Falls is undoubtedly one of the big brands in mass market wine, and so they are obviously doing something right, but I always feel that I am left somewhat disappointed after a glass. They just don't quite hit the spot in the same way as say another California wine label - Blossom Hill and this Merlot was no exception.
Whilst on the nose there were indeed aromas of cherry, plums and blackcurrant the taste was just meh. In addition to that, there was a distinct unpleasant after-taste, a bit chemically. I did notice that when I went back to finish the bottle the next day i.e. the wine had time to oxidise or aerate, that this taste had disappeared somewhat. This leads me to believe then that this bottle has too many added sulphites.
Rating - Wouldn't turn down a free glass.
Pays D'oc - Languedoc Roussillon (South France)
From the bottle
'Glorious flavours of sun-ripened plums and summer fruits, vibrant and elegant with a touch of spice. Serve with barbecued lamb and pepper kebabs or rich beef and ale pie.. Selected Merlot parcels from across the Oc region ...were picked to give complexity and spice'
Price £9.99 (Available from Tesco)
Sometimes companies like to implement the use of clever marketing tools. In the wine world they like to use thick, heavy bottles to get consumers to think subconsciously that whatever is in such an expensive looking bottle will itself be expensive and good.
This wine is in one of these said bottles but with compliments to the winemaker the contents are indeed as good as. Beautifully compelling smells of plums, red berries and even a little cherry. On the palate it is fruity and soft with a supple mouth feel. A hint of spice comes though which is a slightly unexpected from the aroma but pleasing. A lingering taste and very easy drinking wine.
Rating - Stop what you are doing and empty the shelves