Clos du Bois Merlot Review (2021)

Clos du Bois Merlot Featured

What Kind of Wine Is Clos du Bois Merlot?

Clos du Bois Merlot is a dry red wine from Sonoma County in California. The wine combines fruitiness and secondary sensations such as mocha, chocolate, and leather to create a sweet and irresistible tale. The Mediterranean climate of the region showers the vines in Sonoma with a warmth necessary for the production of rich and palatable wines. Successful Merlot examples from California showcase aromas of juicy fruits, such as black cherries, raspberries, plums, and vanilla spice, as well as fierce flavors of chocolate, mocha, and animal textures.

Contrary to wines produced in other parts of the world, Californian wines choose to preserve their delightful fruitiness in favor of structure and profound elaborateness. They remain luscious, fruity, and tender, ignoring intense and unnecessary complexity. And Clos du Bois Merlot is such a wine! But let us find more in the review


Clos du Bois Merlot Review

  • Winery — Clos du Bois
  • Country/Region — United States, Sonoma County, California
  • Type — Merlot From California
  • Aroma — Black Berry, Black Plum, Cocoa, Mocha, Toasty Oak, Leather, Vanilla Spice
  • Grapes — Merlot
  • Taste — Black Currant, Red Cherry, Raspberry, Coffee, Chocolate, Jam, Black Pepper, Charred Wood
  • Alcohol Content — 13.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Roasted Chicken, Pork Stew, Aglio e Olio, Lasagna, Aged Cheese Plateau

Clos du Bois is a distinctive, medium-to-full-bodied Merlot from California, crafted to achieve balance, intensity, and varietal character. And it succeeds. Clos du Bois displays rich aromas of black cherry, brown spice, and lightly toasty oak on the nose. On the palate, this red wine has a luscious texture with concentrated blackberry fruit and notes of chocolate and mocha. The wine’s finish is smooth and fruity, leaving behind, on the tongue, a silkiness that is really magnificent. Clos du Bois is a solid choice of wine, and it is quite competitive to wines double its retail price. Go ahead and give a try to this exhilarating warm, and friendly Californian Merlot. You will not regret it!

Overall Rating: 4.0

Positives
  • Incredible Appearance
  • Fruity
  • Easy-To-Drink
  • Grapes Are Cultivated In Fine Vineyards
  • Bold Finish
Negatives
  • Needs Additional Complexity

Tasting Notes

Clos du Bois Merlot begins the act with a charming ruby color, before releasing vibrant aromas of dark fruits, mocha, and toasty wood. Reaching the mouth, coffee, leather, and crunchy chocolate unfold, while silky tannins add elegance and body. The finish is long and tasty with hints of blueberry and pepper. Such in-depth aromas and flavors indicate that Clos du Bois is a Californian Merlot ready to shatter enological conventions and norms. So please, do not challenge it!

Appearance

Clos du Bois has a chic ruby red color destined to attract wine enthusiasts from the first moment that is poured into a glass. This ruby shade color is equivalent to the juiciest of cherries and raspberries. The rim also is semi-opaque and translucent, emanating purplish hues. Clos du Bois has an enchanting appearance indeed, and it is as pleasing to the eye as the most radiant of jewels.

Aroma

As Clos du Bois Merlot uncorks, essences of dark fruits emerge. Vibrant aromas of black cherry and black currant dominate the aromatic profile at the start before notes of mocha and charred wood add additional depth. Clos du Bois has a captivating nose that is both intriguing and compelling. It is a nose that needs sniffing more than once to appreciate it, as it will not let you break free from the sweet-smelling sensations.

Taste

On the mouth, Clos du Bois displays a multitude of different primary and secondary flavors. Flavors of bright black cherry and plum indicate a freshness, while ground coffee, smooth leather, and crunchy dark chocolate provide a structural backbone to the wine. Silky tannins add elegance and body, rounding the whole palate.

Finish

Clos du Bois finish is long, and satisfying, and makes an exceptional ending to a sip of a great wine. Notes of dark fruits keep dancing in the mouth, such as blueberries and huckleberries, while a black pepper sensation adds spiciness to the tongue, right to the end. Some moments later, a powerful acidity takes everything apart, and the delicious cycle repeats.

Rating

As my review has reiterated, Clos du Bois is a popular Californian Merlot. It is marvelous and distinctive. It does not hold back, but instead, it forces its black fruit aromas and complex tastes to erupt, creating a refreshing yet powerful sensation on the tongue. The soft leather, Brazilian mocha, and Belgian chocolate flavors guarantee that every wine enthusiast will be delighted with a glass of ruby red Clos du Bois. Just close your eyes, take a long sip, and journey to perfumed huckleberry forests somewhere hidden in California and Oregon.

Clos du Bois Merlot Food Pairing

Clos du Bois wine is a hearty companion to roast chicken seasoned with Italian dried herbs, such as oregano and basil. And it is also delicious in the company of a rich pork stew. But do not neglect to add some apples and dried juniper berries with the other ingredients to take full advantage of Clos du Bois’s dark cherry profile. Additionally, the fruity sensations of the wine match perfectly with traditional Italian pasta dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Makes Clos du Bois Merlot?

The wine is a product of Clos du Bois, founded in 1974, in Sonoma County in California. Clos du Bois farm in the diverse wine regions of Sonoma County worked closely with local growers to build long-lasting relationships. Specifically, they source the best quality grapes from Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley, and the North Coast.

By sharing their decades of winemaking knowledge, technology, and resources, they ensure the effortless elegance of the wines that they create. Clos du Bois belonged to Constellation Brands, one of the world’s leading premium wine companies, with a widely admired portfolio that includes Robert Mondavi, Blackstone, Ravenswood, and others. But, in 2020, it was acquired by competitor E. & J. Gallo Winery, also a beverage giant.

How Is Clos du Bois Merlot Made?

Since Clos du Bois is a regular red wine, using the usual winemaking process. The fruit is harvested at optimal ripeness when the color, flavors, acids, and tannins have balance. Then it is crushed, de-stemmed, and left in stainless steel vessels until the alcoholic fermentation begins. This process is responsible for giving the final wine its texture and shapes its character. During fermentation, the temperature increases until the fermented grape juice become ready for racking. That is when it goes through a complete malolactic conversion. The latter adds structure and creamy aromas that flavor the wine, ensuring stability. Finally, Clos du Bois is filtered and bottled.

It is worth mentioning that Clos du Bois is a champion of sustainable viticulture. They have recognition as a Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing winery. That means that the wines are eco-friendly, and the grapes are grown without artificial chemicals. Clos du Bois also has integrated pest management and encourages beneficial insects, like ladybugs, to the vineyard by planting cover crops. The company is also water-conscious.

Where Is Clos du Bois Merlot Made?

Clos du Bois wine is made from the Merlot variety. The grape is cultivated in the Alexander Valley of Sonoma County, California. This valley is at the heart of the American wine industry. It is full of highly-acclaimed wines and ultra-modern wineries. Sonoma County is large and has a great variety of micro-climates.

Due to a break in the coastal ranges, the region benefits from cool, foggy conditions, combined with warm, bright sun. Sonoma County is the birthplace of a diverse range of wine styles rated the greatest in California. As for the Anderson Valley, home of Clos du Bois, the climate is super warm, and its grapes tend to be more full-bodied than those in other parts of Sonoma.

Furthermore, California is renowned for producing thousands of wines per year, some of which are the most extraordinary examples of American winemaking. It is also known for introducing a new winemaking style that challenges the European tradition. In California, the emphasis is on the straightforwardness of the wines and the structure.

European wines, however, are focused on elegance. Finally, the sweet Mediterranean climate provides ceaseless warmth and helps the vines to produce grapes with increased flavor concentration. On the other hand, the Atlantic Ocean brings cooling breezes and fog, giving comfort to the vines from the intense heat. This diversity allows California to deliver an extensive range of wines of different levels that are venerated by worldwide wine enthusiasts.

How to Serve Clos du Bois Merlot?

To experience Clos du Bois in all of its fruity glory, decant the wine and serve it at room temperature, approximately 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 18 degrees Celsius). Remember that if structured wines get too cold, they will taste shallow and harsh. On the other hand, if they reach higher temperatures than recommended, they will lose their freshness and the flavors become muddled.

Therefore, pour that ruby liquid into a decanter and admire it for a while! Then, allow the wine to rest for about half an hour. This time is enough to successfully aerate the wine as the oxygen comes into contact with the wine surface. This will unveil its wonderful aromatic and flavor intensity. As a dry red wine, Clos du Bois is better when poured into larger-sized wine glasses. And the wine, will keep developing even more delightful aromas and offer a passionate Californian wine-drinking experience sip after sip.

How Much Does Clos du Bois Merlot Cost?

Clos du Bois Merlot is not one of those wines that require digging deep into the pocket. Thankfully, it is cost-friendly, and as such everyone can enjoy its warm, sunny Californian character. Clos du Bois Merlot price ranges from $8 to $17 per 750ml bottle, depending on the vintage and merchant. This average price point should encourage consumers to delve into Clos du Bois like wine maniacs and allow themselves to dance with its ripe spicy, dark fruit flavors and leathery hints without limit. Clos du Bois is a fantastic weekend wine and is sure to grant many smiles with every sip.

How Long Does Clos du Bois Merlot Last?

Clos du Bois is suitable for long-term maturation, as it has the potential to evolve its structure. If successfully aged, the wine is expected to develop tertiary aromas and flavors, such as fig, prune, dried cranberry, and wet forest floor. The wine should be sealed with a cork and placed on its side. Red wine must be stored away in an environment with stable humidity and temperature. Direct sunlight or artificial light must be avoided at all costs, as the wine may suffer irreparable damage and become faulty.

Furthermore, the storage environment should be completely odor-free because the cork allows a little oxygen through. However, that might affect the structure of the wine and malfunction its aromas and flavors. I would not recommend storing Clos du Bois for longer than three years because afterward, the wine’s freshness will start decreasing and allow unpleasant flavors to emerge.

How Many Calories Does Clos du Bois Merlot Have?

Clos du Bois Merlot is somewhat high in carbs. Specifically, there are 25 calories in 1 fluid ounce of the beverage, equating to a total of 125 calories per serving. The calorie breakdown is: 0g Fats, 10g Sodium, 5g Total Carbohydrate, 0g Protein, and 1g Total Sugars. It would be wise, therefore, if Clos du Bois Merlot calories are monitored. That means that no, you cannot have the whole wine bottle for yourself unless you do not care about maintaining your body. Further, Clos du Bois Merlot alcohol content is 13,5%, the usual alcoholic concentration for a medium-to-full-body red.

Conclusion

Clos du Bois is a distinctive, medium-to-full-bodied Merlot from California, crafted to achieve balance, intensity, and varietal character. And it succeeds. Clos du Bois displays rich aromas of black cherry, brown spice, and lightly toasty oak on the nose. On the palate, this red wine has a luscious texture with concentrated blackberry fruit and notes of chocolate and mocha. The wine’s finish is smooth and fruity, leaving behind, on the tongue, a silkiness that is really magnificent. Clos du Bois is a solid choice of wine, and it is quite competitive to wines double its retail price. Go ahead and give a try to this exhilarating warm, and friendly Californian Merlot. You will not regret it!

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