by Fred McMillin
for September 17, 1997

Merlot Magic, for Only $10

Prologue: Chateau Julien Winemaker Bill Anderson: "Our 1995 Grand Reserve 100% Merlot is eminently drinkable...full of berry and vanilla flavors."

The Rest of the Story: In 1982, Patty and Bob Brower liked what they saw... Stanford graduate...then winemaking at they hired Bill Anderson to make their first Chateau Julien vintage then and there. Fifteen years and 2,000 awards later, it's clear that they made the right decision. For example, Bill modestly says this $10 '95 Merlot is "eminently drinkable." I'll say it is. My current series of tastings has been going on for nine years. This julien is the most pleasing $10 merlot we've ever tasted! Over and out.

The Wine:
1995 Grand Reserve Merlot, Monterey County
Chateau Julien
Carmel Valley Road, Carmel
Contact—Kristin Horton, (408) 624-2600
Tasting Notes—14 months in American oak was time well spent, imparting easily-detectable vanilla overtones to the berry flavors Bill mentioned.

Postscript: If the budget permits, after you've savored this $10 bargain, move up in intensity to the $16 Chateau Julien '95 Private Reserve...600 cases...available only at the winery.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

Read more articles by Fred McMillin in the eGGsf

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