The 2009 Emerald Bay Central Coast Merlot is a blend of about 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from multiple vineyards in California’s Central Coast AVA. Emerald Bay is an entry level label for Chateau Julien, a family owned winery located in the Monterey AVA, in operation since 1982. The Emerald Bay wines are priced to be everyday wines, I found it selling for $6.99, and are fermented in stainless steel tanks and with enough barrel aging to give the wine a hint of oak influence. Even though it is an inexpensive wine this is a sustainably produced wine. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color of the wine is candy apple red. The nose is raspberry and raisins, a touch of smoke from the BBQ and Band Aids. This is a fruit forward wine that has not been neutered, it still has its tannins, and a nice change of flavors on the mid palate. it starts with blackberry and plum, a slap of licorice and chocolate powder. The mid palate brings sweet strawberry, a slight jolt from the tannins and creamy vanilla. The acidity is subdued and the finish starts strong, then slowly fades away.
The 2009 (2010 is the current vintage) Emerald Bay Central Coast Merlot does exactly what it sets out to do, be a real, everyday, easy drinking Merlot at a very affordable price. In an age when sweet wines and reduced tannins and acidity are all the rage, it is good to see a value priced wine brand deliver an old fashioned, rock steady, California Merlot.