Thursday, October 6, 2016

Wine Review: Cannonball Sonoma County Merlot 2014

October is International Merlot Month thanks to!

Cannonball Sonoma County Merlot 2014

Cannonball is one of those brands that I see all over the place but I'm not too familiar with because I've just never stopped to give it any attention. Now's a good a time as any to get acquainted, right?

Cannonball was started in 2006 with the intention of becoming king of the under $20 Cabernet. With the success of that Cab they've expanded their portfolio. Their winemaker is Dennis Hill, formerly of Blackstone.

The 2014 Merlot is 91% Merlot with Petite Sirah and Syrah as the remaining 9%. The fruit mainly comes from their Adam and Eve vineyard located in the Northern Russian River Valley, and then some other spots in Sonoma Valley. It was cold soaked before fermentation, saw no oak, and has an ABV of 13.8%.

The color is a reddish purple. There's aromas and flavors of black cherries, plum skins, black olives and Splenda. But there was also something on the nose that I couldn't pin down so I hit the interwebs to see if anybody else felt the way I felt and if they'd succeeded in identifying the mysterious olfactory memory flag that I was recalling. Virginie Boone from Wine Spectator hit the nail on the head with marshmallow. Every other aspect of the experience is irrelevant.

Cannonball's 2014 Merlot would be pretty good if it was a line item brand that sold for $8 or $9. I mean, it's not close to the $9 Merlot champion Red Diamond but it kicks the everloving crap out of Darkhorse and Cupcake. Dear god. It murders them, cuts their bodies into pieces, leaves them in the dumpster, and casually walks by the scene of the crime the next day while making eye contact with the police. But, in reality, it's $15. It's not worth $15.

Even though I pride myself in being honest about what I really think of the wines I taste, it still pains me to give a bad review. I mean, shit. Somebody took the effort to send me their wine. And I don't make the stuff myself. I can't even relate in any way to the difficulties involved in everything that it takes to actually make a wine. I'm in the retail end of the wine profession and I have a fucking blog.

But I'm also the kind of wine guy that will tell you to put back an unworthy wine for one of the same kind that's actually good and less expensive. I have something wrong with my brain that disallows me from sugar-coating anything that I can't get behind. So unfortunately I have to give Cannonball's 2014 Merlot a 2 out of 5 for Not Impressive.

Price: $15
Rating: 2/5 = Not Impressive (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.


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