From time to time we come across a wine that sticks in our mind and becomes the benchmark by which we judge the others. For me, these include the Belle Glos Pinot Noir, Seghesio Zinfandel, Barrister Rough Justice (affordable blend) and the Fielding Hills Cabernet Franc. Recently I received a bottle of Bolen Family Estates 2007 Merlot. This wine has made a strong case for being the benchmark merlot in my memory banks.
Eric Bolen makes one wine, 1000 cases, of single vineyard Oak Knoll Merlot. Bolen partners with esteemed winemaker Tom Rinaldi of Duck Horn fame to craft a stellar 100% Merlot from Beckstoffer Orchard. Bolen’s drive is to make the best Merlot in the world and from the bottle I received, he’s well on his way to that legacy. Bolen Family Estates started in 2006 under the name B. Legacy but after copyright pressure from Kendall Jackson, Eric relented and changed the name to Bolen Family Estates. The name has changed, the wine is the same, but the fire has been fueled even more to succeed.
2007 Bolen Family Estates Merlot
At $60, the 2007 Merlot is full of amazing berry flavor and aroma. You can smell the wine before you even put it to your nose. Subtle hints of cinnamon are intermingled with the bright fruit. In the mouth you get a sense for the careful attention given to this wine. The fruit was fermented in 3 different methods to achieve the desired balance and character. About 20% of the wine spent 26 months in French oak. The flavors are full and big without being obnoxious. A velvety texture covers the entire palate and layers of fruit, cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla erupt from front to back. The finish is lingering and brings good structure with the perfect amount of tannins. There is a slight heat coming off the 15.2%ABV.
For most, this is not your daily drinking affordable wine, but the Bolen Family Estates 2007 Merlot is worth the price for your special occasion or if you just want to impress the hell out of someone to prove how good merlot can be. If the 2007 vintage is any indication of the future, merlot has made a comeback and Bolen Family Estates is establishing the legacy they intended. 4+/5
- Excellent interview on Corkd.com with Gary Vaynerchuk and Eric Bolen >> CLICK HERE
- Eric Bolen explains to Hello Vino readers how they use three different fermentation methods to achieve the desired character and flavor of their wine >> CLICK HERE
*Wine was provided as an industry sample with the intention to review
UPDATE FROM ERIC BOLEN
Thanks for the kind words and I am glad you enjoyed the wine. As a thanks to you and your readers, I would like to offer a coupon discount at our website on purchases of this wine. Use the code “NECTAR” and receive a 15% discount and free shipping, no minimum. Rock on!