Barrel Ranch 2009 California Merlot - ~$14

This new Merlot at Fresh & Easy is a member of one the new wine lines at Fresh & Easy.  Given their mid-teens prices, it would seem the Barrel Ranch wines are meant to be part of Fresh & Easy's top-shelf domestic portfolio (though they're still stocking higher-end "outside" wines like Simi's Sonoma Merlot).

Given this top-shelf expectation, the Barrel Ranch Merlot was a bit of a let down.  It's not a bad wine, by any means, and features a bright cherry and plum flavor profile.  Still, it seemed a bit generic and soft-spoken, something particularly surprising given the high quality of the ~$5-cheaper WineWrights line. I suspect I'll give this Merlot another try to be more certain that this bottle didn't catch me on a bad day. 


Drinkability: 7.5/10
Price: 3/5
Total value: 10.5/15

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