The Baltimore Sun

Yes, it's a bit pricey, but this is an exceptionally well-made merlot with a texture and flavor that truly distinguishes itself from cabernet sauvignon. (Funny how many California merlots are just insipid cabernet wannabes.) This lush, ripe, complex wine offers intense, layered flavors of black cherry, raspberry and cassis. It's quite drinkable now but has the backbone to improve in the cellar for five to eight years.

2005 Luna Merlot

From : Napa Valley, Calif.

Price: $34

Serve with: Beef, lamb

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