Tasting Note                         

89   1997 Estancia Meritage Alex. Valley   9/6/03($25)

59% Cabernet, 30% Merlot, 11% Cab Franc
Color: Deep garnet, not yet clearing, but looks about ready for this wine.(3.0) Bouquet: Cedar and ink (St.Julien-like) with very round cassis.(3.5) Body: On the heavy side of middleweight. Sufficient fruit with good tannin and acidity.(3.0) Flavor: A bit firm and cedary, tastes like they over did the oak. It overwhelms the fruit a little. Although cassis and blackberry are still there and tasty.(3.0) Finish: Predominant cedar with bitterness from oak with cassis fruit in the background. Ink and cedar are relatively long here, too bad the fruit has been subdued.(2.0)
Overall: Almost excellent. A very enjoyable wine, but would benefit from a bit less oak. Tastes like they’re trying to turn what should be a pretty, delicious middleweight into a heavyweight. Could get better with a little more age, but I doubt it. Drink now.(14.5)