blackstone merlotWe’ve all had the experience of meeting someone who seems interesting and compelling when you first meet only to find out their really boring and irritating when you get to know them. That was was my experience with this wine from the conglomerate Constellation Brands.

The nose of plum, coffee and milk chocolate is bold but simple. In the mouth it’s chocolate smooth and fruity like most budget Merlots, with powdery tannins and some obvious sugar that carries through from beginning to end. In the end, this sugary dimension kills the wine. I enjoyed the first few sips but after 4 or 5 it became so cloying I just wanted to spit it out. And the mercifully short finish falls apart with the acidity and fruit occupying separate worlds.

If I were grading only on effort it would get an A for trying to be sexy.

The 2011 vintage was a blend of 79% Merlot, 13% Syrah, 4% Petite Sirah, 2% Tannat, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 11 months in a combination of French and American oak, 80% new. There is no updated information for more recent vintages.

Score: 82

Price: $9

Alc 13.5%

A perfectly engineered hit about sexy like “Baby I Need Your Lovin’” will make this wine live up to its promise.