The other day, we received a wine shipment from Moonstone Cellars. Moonstone is located in Cambria, California, and we were lucky enough to happen upon the tasting room when we took a trip down to central and southern California in August, 2010. For more on that trip and Moonstone, see this previous blog post. We really enjoyed all of the wines that Moonstone offered, so we get excited when their wines are on the way. Their tasting room is a lot of fun too, one of the most memorable ones we have visited. They not only allow, but encourage dogs in the tasting room, and frequently take photos of them to post on their Facebook page in their Dog of the Day! feature. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, and the owner Todd, is very down to earth and friendly.
The other night, we opened the 2009 Moonstone Merlot. The grapes are sourced from the Paso Robles area, which is not a wine region that we have had the opportunity to explore. The color of the wine is like the skin of a dark red plum, ripened perfectly. The nose is of blackberry, oak, and smoke. The smoky smell is not evident when you taste this wine though, and the oak gives way to a wine that is wonderfully balanced with soft fruit, and a tiny hint of tartness on the finish. It is a wine that will please someone who likes a heavier red, and someone like me who enjoys a softer, less oaked Merlot. In fact, we both loved it so much I put up a fight to make sure that Jon didn’t drink my second glass! It was really hard for him to see the bottle sitting on the counter, waiting for me to get to it – I’m sure it was calling to him. He was strong though…. because he knew I was serious about this wine!
Jon was so thrilled with this wine that he wants to order more, and I’ve heard a comment or two about how the Paso Robles area needs to be our next wine trip. I think that means this wine is a keeper.