Santa Rita 120 Merlot is a densely opaque purplish-ruby red color with an inky core going out into a deep crimson rim definition with medium-high viscosity. On the nose: It is brimming with redolent black and red berry fruit with an underlying base of currants, pepper and spice, gently laced with hints of vanilla from oak barrels, violets and fruit-driven minerals. On the palate: It is a rich, almost chewy mouthful of wine, and the concentration of black fruit is showing signs of a fairly complex range of tastes with bramble, black plum skins, black currants and spices dominating, but also with melted licorice, smoked almonds and toast. The middle palate is solid with black fruit and smoke dominating, perhaps just a touch of stalky phenolics, but then a wonderfully soft tannin structure. It leads into a great finish that lasts 20-plus seconds with lots of smoke and solid fruit characteristics on the end. This wine is a full-bodied Chilean merlot that is not afraid to come out and play.
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