2005 R R Collection Merlot
Roast chicken, pork
This red wine - made by the folks who own the Napa Valley's Raymond Vineyards - brings excellent value and a high level of quality to the iffy category of California merlot. It shows surprisingly intense fruit, with pure blackberry, blueberry and black-cherry flavors and hints of herbs, chocolate and smoked meat. The blend includes 25 percent cabernet sauvignon - the maximum for a wine that's labeled a merlot. That's probably what makes it a success.