2004 Four Sisters Merlot, Southeastern Australia ($12)

WINE FIND

October 25, 2006|By MICHAEL DRESSER

In a world of wimpy, thin merlots, this hearty example of the varietal certainly stands out -- especially at this price. It's a ripe, lush, dramatic red wine -- nothing elegant about it -- that rocks the palate with black-cherry, blackberry, chocolate and wild-game flavors. The alcohol level of 14 percent is well-concealed behind soft-textured fruit. One could object that it's as typical of syrah as merlot, but why quibble with a delicious, screw-cap-equipped wine that never will be tainted by a bad cork? Serve with lamb, beef, venison.

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