Red Diamond Winery in Washington State has long been a hidden gem for those who appreciate quality wine at a value price point and their 2012 Red Diamond Merlot fits both of those categories. Not quite a “pure” Merlot due to a small amount of Syrah juice which adds a lingering note of cherry blended evenly into the fruit forward style of this wine. Not as earthy as some earlier Red Diamond Merlot vintages the 2012 effort is still good enough to earn an uncorking any time of year.
A pretty garnet colored liquid in the glass was worth some time appreciating through the light of the setting sun. That visual pleasure though was quickly moved to the side by a full nose of bright berries. Time spent lingering over the bouquet was rewarded with notes of chocolate, eucalyptus and brown cooking spices coming out on the back side of the berry fruit. The palate is very up front and tails quickly off toward the end, but the movement from berry to cherry to cedar serving as a backdrop is a very interesting and drinkable combination that is sure to please most Merlot fans. Without a lot of mid to late palate presence some may feel short shifted by this wine, however, a light touch of tannin provides a frame for the palate of flavors and keeps it from becoming to “fruit juicy”. Ultimately the test of a wine is twofold, how it fits the purpose at hand and does it provide a an interesting pause for the senses while achieving that goal and the 2012 Red Diamond Merlot is as good an option as many other pricier labels on both counts.
Widely available throughout Southwest Florida from your local grocery aisle to wine store the 2012 Red Diamond Merlot is also found with a wide variation in shelf price. While the suggested retail price is $12.99 you will have no problem finding it less than that, in a brief perusal this week I have found it from a low of $7.98, regular price $10.99 at ABC Fine Wine and Spirits to $11.99 at a local grocery chain it pays to look around, especially if you are picking up more than a couple of bottles at a time. For those simply looking for a wine they can extract a lot of flavor out of or a wine they can simply pour as a complement to a meal and conversation, this is one I would endorse at less than $10 per bottle. My final take way is that with the various individual preferences in meal plans and wine pairings served during this holiday season the 2012 Red Diamond Merlot may just be the light hearted and easy going wine you will be able to serve with confidence and enjoy along with your guests without adding to your gift buying budget hangover.