It has been a while since I reviewed wine here. As regular readers know, this has been my year of tasting various wines from California.

I’ve pretty much settled into Barefoot mode for the past few months, turning to old reliables like their Shiraz and Zinfandel. We tried a Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon this summer and didn’t care for it very much.

But I discovered Barefoot’s Merlot at our local SAQ outlet on Sunday, and purchased a bottle.

In a word: Mmmm . . .

It is very smooth, but it still has a distinct flavour you either like or don’t like. My partner, Maggie, didn’t like it at first tasting. My initial impression was mixed: it seemed to be too neutral.

But as I sipped another glass of it last night, after it had been refrigerated for 24 hours, I began to taste its full depth, especially as the chill wore off.

That’s another interesting thing: chilled wine reveals different flavours as it warms up to room temperature. I’m happy to say the Barefoot Merlot tasted quite nice whether chilled or not.

Does it live up to the Footnotes on the label. Mostly, yes.

It’s described as being “packed with the tempting flavours of blackberry, raspberry and chocolate and is silky smooth.”

Indeed, there are some intriguing flavours in this wine, and there is no doubt it is silky smooth.

I still have a half bottle to explore, and will no doubt pick up another later this week.

For now, I am giving it a rating of 9 out of 10.

— Jillian