2005 Mount Linden Merlot

2005 Mount Linden MerlotPrice: $3.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per the bottle “Mount Linden wines are blended using a careful selection of choice grapes from California’s top winemaking region to produce exceptional wines true to their character. Mount Linden wines focus on rich, pure flavors of California’s best vineyards. The lush, cherry fruit of this Mount Linden Merlot is carried on an exceptionally velvety frame. Aromas of cedar and toasty oak accent the ripe raspberry flavors.”

What I Think:

I’ll keep this one short. This one is full bodied with warm cherry flavors on the palate. It turns sour and finishes just a bit spicy and tannic with vanilla notes (imparted from the barrel). Nice effort for the money, a perfect juicy quaffer that apparently includes some Syrah “to add depth & structure”.

Rating: Buy It

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19 thoughts on “2005 Mount Linden Merlot

  1. Hi Jason,
    Thanks for getting to this one so quickly. We’ll be trying them with the Crew next week at the All-Store Meeting.
    The label write-up on the Chardonnay makes me want to try it, being that I love green apple, pineapple and butterscotch. The Syrah’s write-up sounds yummy too.
    Any chance you can try the rest of the Mount Linden this week? Your opinions are always useful and folks love the Top Ten list.
    BTW, it looks like the “Discontinued/Soon to be Discontinued” list has gotten even larger. I just hope that we’ll being getting a lot of new wines to fill up the soon to be empty spaces.

  2. Jason, i would never have tried this wine, but your good review of a $4 Merlot lead me on. This quaffer is smooth and has pleasing depth. Worthy of your top 10, IMHO. As King Shag is to Sauvignon Blanc, so is this Mt. Linden to Merlot. If only we could find a comparable pinot noir, grenache or malbec in the $5 range. Cheers

  3. I agree. The Merlot was the favorite red of the cheaper wines we tried. Juicy, smooth and oh so quaffable.
    Buy these now before they’re gone.
    BTW, the Cabernet wasn’t bad either. Kind of a peppery nose, smooth, perhaps a little light for a Cab, but definitely drinkable. Unfortunately the Syrah was so popular that we sold out before the Tasting. However since we had our Captain and the head of our Wine Team leaving, we were able to crack a bottle of 2006 Stag’s Leap Cabernet ($43) as part of the Tasting. Great nose, complex and delicious. A super-duper special occassion wine, pricy but worth it I think.

  4. @Angela Been busy lately, would love to try the rest of the lineup and grab some more of this one. Looks like I am out of luck on the Syrah. Did you get to taste the Chard? Would you recommend the Cab? BTW, not a bad consolation prize on the Stag’s Leap though out of my price league! As for the “Discontinued” list have you seen/had any new arrivals that are excited about? Let me know as I am likely to make a stop before the weekend. For me the Gigondas and Vacqueyras offerings have been tempting but I’ve yet to pull the trigger… Any insights on either of those?

    @Danny Always happy to help… As for your wish list I’ll bump Malbec to the top. I wish TJ’s could get a good one! I’ve had a few more of your recommendations that are caught in the backlog for posting. All in all I think are palates are relatively aligned so keep those tips coming my way as well.

  5. Angela, I found a bottle of the Mt Linden Syrah..wish I hadn’t. It might have been a tainted bottle, but I think it was just a bad wine. Per Jason’s rating system, it is an “Avoid It” wine for me. However, I still love the Mt. Linden Merlot

  6. Picked up some Mount Linden Syrah and it knocked our socks off. Danny, you must have gotten a bad bottle because the full bodied mix of flavors of chocolate, espresso, plum and raspberry. Yummy…..I’m looking for a case or more.

  7. I drank a bottle of Mount Linden Cabernet Sauvignon and it was excellent. I purchased it when we were in San Diego last week from a Trader Joe’s there. I am hoping they have the Mount Linden Cab in our local Trader Joe’s here in the Cleveland area.

  8. Well, I wish you good luck. I hope it’s available in your area. Sometimes CA gets a lot more variety than everywhere else.

    @Jason: Yeah, I did try the Chard, thought it to be a little oaky for my palate, but much better than the 2009 La Finca which was just too young to drink.

    The Gigondas and Vacqueyras offerings are very tasty. The Gigondas was a little bolder and rougher around the edges and the Vacqueyras was smoother and more “put together”.

    Nothing super exciting has showed up on the New Releases list yet, but the CdP from Cellier du Rhone ($20) was quite delicious even at that price point. Probably my favorite of the French Tasting we did yesterday. The Morton Cadet Bordeaux Blanc ($7?) was pretty nice as well.
    Still waiting for the promised Private Label Vigonier & Albarino, but no sign thus far.

  9. @ Ivan: Sorry, I have no direct contact information and there’s no website listed on the bottle.
    “Cellared & Bottled by Glass Mountain Quarry, Napa, CA”
    (I’ll be having it with burgers for Sunday lunch)

  10. Agree with Danny (above comment); it would be nice to find a Pinot Noir that falls in the $5.00 range that is pleasing to the palate!

  11. I have found a good Pinot!! It is the Black Mountain Pinot Noir. Very good for about 5 bucks. I am drinking the Mt. Linden Merlot as we speak! Also very good for a cheapie…Cheers!

  12. Hi, again, Michelle. I’m finding a 2007 Black Oak Pinot Noir at Bevmo for $8.99 (where did you find it for $5.00?); it’s listed as an Italian product, sourced from Provincia di Pavia. Is this the one you’re recommending?

  13. I just bought a bottle of this and was also wondering about the producer. Googling “Glass Mountain Quarry” shows that this used to be a second label of Markham Cellars, in Napa. So is Mt. Linden a 3rd-ish label of Markham for its surplus juice?

    • George, I came across the same thing and fired off a few emails but received no response. Perhaps I’ll investigate further over the weekend but guessing the folks behind this label bought the juice and bottled it. What did you think of the wine?

  14. Thanks for the tip — I bought 2 cases of the 2005 Mt. Linden Merlot for a Christmas party and everyone liked it. Now my local Trader Joe’s says they can’t supply any more. Any suggestions?

  15. Hmmmm… maybe it’s been too long, but I was very disappointed by this wine. It’s getting added to my growing stash of cooking wine… hopefully it will make a good Beef Bourguignon but it certainly isn’t fit to drink with dinner.

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