The 2011 Redwood Creek Merlot is sourced from vineyards in more than one California grape growing AVA. In California, if less than 85% of the grapes are sourced from a single AVA, say for instance Paso Robles or Napa, the label must read California and not the more specific AVA. Red Wood Creek is one of E & J Gallo’s 72 wine labels. Redwood Creek had been sold under the Frei Brothers label (also owned by Gallo) and is now a separate label. I found the Redwood Creek selling for $5.79 and the average price on the web is 8 bucks. The alcohol content is 13%.
The color is garnet red with a salmon halo. The nose is jammy plum, vanilla, spearmint spice and ripe cherry. This is a soft, fruit forward Merlot, it starts with rich blackberry, sweet blueberry, fudge brownie. The mid palate brings a little POM Wonderful, cold coffee and a light touch of pepper. The tannins and the acidity are subdued. The finish starts strong, fades quickly, but does linger on.
The 2011 Redwood Creek Merlot is a very solid inexpensive Merlot, very flavorful with more structure than expected. It is a first rate burgers and pizza wine, unpretentious, but a good deal of satisfaction for the money.