($338; 100% merlot) Moderately saturated ruby. Very ripe, almost cooked aromas of blackcurrant, plum, coffee, loam and chocolate, plus a strong herbal edge. Much fresher on the palate, where the sweet, plush, creamy flavors of chocolate-covered cherries, oak and mocha are nicely lifted by bright, harmonious acids, which keep this wine from coming off as topheavy. An immediately accessible, sweet style of merlot with rather soft, ripe tannins and above-average length. I find a bit too much of everything here-too ripe, too sweet, too herbal-but I'm confident that many consumers will greatly enjoy this very showy style of merlot.