McKeon-Phillips Reserve Merlot Los Alamos Vineyard 2007: Though domestic merlot still suffers from the below-the-belt blows it took in Sideways, some Central Coast wineries are finding distinction with the historically esteemed grape, and this bottling from Santa Maria’s McKeon-Phillips is evidence of such possibilities. Ever-evolving scents of sweet bay leaf give way to cherry and berry with resulting flavors that linger long on the tongue. Word on the street is that the 30-year-old winery recently shut down, however, so snag this and whatever else they are selling now or never.


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