The 2005 Naked Mountain is labeled “Merlot,” but is actually a blend that consists of: 78% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 7% Tannant, and 5% Petit Verdot. I got wet wood/tree bark and some tobacco on the nose. The nose didn’t translate to the palate, which was a little floral with mild fruit and a little spice. Tannins were present but subdued. This just didn’t come together well for me. A great wine should simultaneously compel you to drink it as quickly as possible and sip it slowly to make it last. The Naked Mountain Merlot did neither for me and was not the best possible expression of Merlot’s potential. At $22, I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it, either. I would call this one average, but the junior high boy in me gives a little extra credit for the winery name (you said Naked Mountain). I wouldn’t be ashamed to serve it as part of a Virginia wine flight, but wouldn’t personally seek it out again.
Corked and ready,