Here we are coming out of the Halloween “holiday” in the United States and I find myself purchasing a bottle of Vampire Merlot, a 2005 vintage from Vampire Vinyards. Was it the season that drew me to the bottle or the label design?
I’m leaning more towards the label, a dark bottle with a black label and the sharp white text “Vampire” with a thin drip of blood. Seemed so appropriate considering how many vampire shows have covered their habit by drinking “red wine.” I popped the cork off, let it breath and poured myself a glass.
First, the aroma of a charred smokey potent plum met my nose. The taste reflected exactly what the nose was giving me, I was hoping for a little more. The mouth feel was a bit weak, watery with a slight smoothness ending with a touch of dryness not too uncommon in a Merlot.
The aftertaste was nearly non-existent, leaving very little to remember about the Vampire Merlot. I was hoping the bad ass name was accompanied by a strong tannic taste but I was left with a mild wine. This is a 13.8% ABV wine, making it a well situated table wine with a price between USD $7.99 and USD 11.99 from what can be seen in the stores and on the Internet. For the price, this was a solid wine, it just wasn’t my favorite.
My expectations were a bit high for this 2005 Vampire Merlot; perhaps the Merlot could use another five years or so aging before popping it open. Vampire Merlot shows potential down the road but wine drinkers new to the experience may like this as it’s not too tannic and not too potent to really blast your senses.