The Velvet Devil Merlot Review (2021) – Charles Smith

The Velvet Devil Merlot Featured

What Kind of Wine Is The Velvet Devil Merlot?

The Velvet Devil Merlot is a sinfully delicious and premium Washington State red wine. It is a blend of Merlot, which is the principal grape variety, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. With a nose full of the aromas of black fruit, cedar, cigar, and cassis, this full-bodied red has grown in popularity over the last years due to its distinctive varietal characteristics. Sweet dark fruit on the palate combines with floral overtones and leads to a pure velvety finish.

Furthermore, Washington is renowned for producing elegant Merlots that show extensive plum, cocoa, coffee, and earthy flavors. And, most of these wines are luscious and savory. Even though Washington wines are not as fruit-forward as their counterparts from Napa Valley, they still represent the varietal and structural components of the Merlot grape variety. The Velvet Devil is a true example of enchanting East Coast winemaking, maximizing the Washington summertime temperatures, and the sharp coldness of the region’s climate.


Charles Smith The Velvet Devil Merlot Review

  • Winery — Charles Smith
  • Country/Region — Washington, United States
  • Type — Washington State Red Blend
  • Aroma — Violet, Rose, Dried Black Cherry, Ripe Blackberry, Cassis, Tobacco, Cedar
  • Grapes — Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec
  • Taste — Raspberry, Red Plum, Black Currant, Black Pepper, Chocolate, Green Bell Pepper, Charred Wood
  • Alcohol Content — 13.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Grilled Steak, Beef Hamburger, Pizza, Anything Bacon

Charles Smith The Velvet Devil Merlot is a one-hell-of-a-wine! It is a truly fantastic example of Washington State winemaking. In every sip, you feel the wine’s passion and sensuality. Opening aromas of fresh dark fruits infused with tobacco and woody flavors surface before the bold flavors from red fruits and chocolate complete the wine’s palate. The tannins are smooth and velvety, and the finish is fruity and radiant. To sum it up clearly and concisely, if the Beast had to choose a wine, The Velvet Devil would be the one. Velvety as the finest of Merlots and as devilish as the most secret temptations.

Overall Rating: 4.1

Positives
  • Devilishly Delicious
  • Firm Merlot Character
  • Fruity And Complicated
  • Aging Potential
  • Premium To The Last Drop
Negatives
  • Finish Could Be Little Longer

Tasting Notes

The Velvet Devil Merlot wine is refreshing, vibrant, and appealing. And it will certainly please wine enthusiasts. Aromas of juicy dried dark fruit, such as black cherries and blackberries, cassis, and tobacco surface on the nose complementing the wine’s deep ruby color. On the palate, a wonderful bouquet of violets and roses continue, accompanying flavors of raspberries and ripe plums, while black pepper and chocolate silkiness are present too. The acidity is light but remains refreshing, while the wine’s tannins are soft without intense astringency and lead to a velvet finish. The Velvet Devil Merlot is savory and a celebration of an intriguing character, specific to Washington wines.

Appearance

Like emerging from pits of fire, Velvet Devil has a remarkably infernal appearance. Just pour the wine into a glass and its deep dark ruby color surface, a color that reminds one of ripe red cherries and plums. A few swirls later, the center opens to a modest violet that extends over to the rims with hints of indigo. The Velvet Devil Merlot appearance is like a work of dark art – bold, passionate, and dazzling. It is unforgettable and Mephistophelian.

Aroma

Floral overtones, such as soft violet and rose petals, appear from the moment the wine is uncorked. Fragrances of fresh and dried black cherries, and juicy blackberries, as well as intense tobacco, define the wine’s aromatic profile. Notes of cassis and toasted cedar complete the sweet-smelling armada. Consequently, The Velvet Devil Merlot has an appealing nose, with many complex layers. It tempts wine lovers, bit by bit, like that old story with the woman, the apple, and the snake.

Taste

One sip of this bold, carnal creation, will convince you that Merlots are as sexy as ever. The Velvet Devil has a fresh but complicated taste profile. And to be honest, everything is about balance. Dynamic essences of bright red fruits, combine harmonically with blackcurrants to create a core, which balances with the wine’s full-body structure. Hints of spicy black pepper along with milk chocolate exist too, showcasing the Merlot varietal. Some light vegetal notes, like eucalyptus and green bell pepper, coexist with the rest of the flavors and come from the Cabernet Sauvignon used in the blend. Finally, the acidity is on the lower side but refreshing, while the tannins are as velvet as the finest silks from Mongolia.

Finish

The finish is soft, smooth, and velvety, and although it stays true to the wine’s Washington State character. It is a bit shorter than I would have preferred. However, with that said, the vibrant berry flavors remain in the mouth, while the tobacco and chocolate persist too. There are also hints of oil and wet hay to be found, adding substantial structure. The refreshing acidity is still present, but it washes away the delightful flavors a tiny bit too quickly. The finish is satisfying and enhances the drinking experience.

Rating

A devilish experience served in a glass of wine. What more could anyone want from a Washington state red? The Velvet Devil is a dark rhapsody, a statement wine. It is fruity but complicated, delightful but fierce, and ultimately it is tasty enough to please every wine critic. Its endless freshness and underlying layers of cassis, tobacco, black pepper, and chocolate are strong indicators of the wine’s quality. The Velvet Devil Merlot is luscious and unique, and a prime example of the underestimated East Coast winemaking. It is silky and delivers an incredibly immersive wine-drinking experience.

The Velvet Devil Merlot Food Pairing

The Velvet Devil is the Jack (or perhaps, a devil)-of-all-trades when it comes to food pairing. Its notes of dark fruits, with that oak influence, make an awesome combination with grilled steak and bacon. As it cooks on the grill, the bacon fat melts, creating heavenly sensations. Drink down then, that meaty goodness with a glass of Velvet Devil, and prepare to land into the Elysian Fields.

But if you are not up to the process of grilling, feel free to make a call to your local pizzeria instead, as the Velvet Devil accompanies casual takeaways too. Some beefy hamburgers made with sweet cheese, crispy lettuce, and ham ingredients pair well with the wine’s fresh and vivid floral overtones. And as a bottom line, as Charles Smith, the winemaker, says: Drink it anyway you like it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Makes The Velvet Devil Merlot?

The Velvet Devil Merlot is a product of Charles Smith Wines, located in Washington. The wine is created by Charles Smith, the winemaker. Charles used to work as a manager of rock bands with a focus on Danish groups. In 2001, he released 330 cases of his first vintage, while in 2009, he would be named Winemaker of the Year by Food and Wine magazine.

Charles Smith’s reds undergo long macerations of 30 days or more, with no racking after malolactic fermentation is finished. Since 2016, Charles Smith Winery is part of Constellation Brands, one of the largest wine distributors in the United States. With the acquisition of the winery, Constellation Brands became the second largest supplier of Washington state wines.

How Is The Velvet Devil Merlot Made?

The Velvet Devil Merlot is produced by implementing the typical winemaking process. The grapes are picked from the vines, sorted, destemmed, and crushed. At the winery, they are placed inside large stainless steel vessels, and alcoholic fermentation begins. The temperature increases and color, tannins, flavors, and aromas extract from the fermented grapes. Afterward, the Velvet Devil undergoes malolactic fermentation to soften the mouthfeel, adding complexity and ensuring stability in the final wine. When the malolactic fermentation finishes, the wine is put to soak for 30 days or more on the remaining uncrushed grape skins. The Velvet Devil is then lightly filtered and prepared for bottling.

Where Is The Velvet Devil Merlot Made?

The Velvet Devil is produced from the Merlot grape and cultivated in Washington State, renowned for its fruity red and crisp white wines. The majority of the vineyards in Washington are planted in the extensive Columbia Valley that lies east of the Cascade Mountains. Columbia Valley is in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains, where river irrigation is necessary. Long daylight hours and consistent summer temperatures are an advantage of the region too. The grapes attain optimal ripeness due to the sunny days while the cool nights help them to sustain natural levels of acidity. The challenge of the region is the winter freeze, which may reduce crop volumes by half.

It is worth mentioning, furthermore, that Washington popularized Merlots in the 1980s. Before, it had become known for producing exceptional white wines. Today, Washington is recognized as one of the pioneer regions in American wine production, and while its Merlots might not be as fashionable as they used to be, they are made with quality.

How to Serve The Velvet Devil Merlot?

The Velvet Devil Merlot is better served at room temperature, approximately 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 18 degrees Celsius), to avoid losing its freshness and flavor consistency. That said, the wine could also benefit from a light chilling for about twenty minutes before serving and the Velvet Devil fruit-forward bouquet and dark fruit flavors will become crisp.

As a dry red wine, it must be poured into larger-sized wine glasses, to allow the air to come into contact with the wine surface and help it release its Merlot varietal personality. Decanting is also an option, as the black pepper and woody flavors will blend and create an infernal experience.

How Much Does The Velvet Devil Merlot Cost?

The wine has a premium price, which is understandable considering its quality and notable Washington state character. The Velvet Devil Merlot price ranges from $10 to $24 per 750ml per bottle, depending on the merchant and vintage. The wine’s high price point is a statement of the unparalleled craftsmanship and dedication put into its creation by Charles Smith himself. Think of the price as a guarantee of the wine’s quality. After all, you get what you pay for, and in the particular case of the Velvet Devil, that holds truer than anything.

How Long Does The Velvet Devil Merlot Last?

The Velvet Devil Merlot has the potential to undergo long-term maturation, despite its fruity and straightforward character. After aging successfully, the wine is expected to develop deep secondary and tertiary aromas, including fig, prune, and dried red cherry, as well as luscious flavors of cooked red plum, and wet forest floor.

The wine should be sealed with a cork and stored in a stable environment with humidity and room temperatures that suffer from no fluctuation (50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 to 15 Celsius). Direct sunlight or artificial light better be avoided, as the wine may suffer irreparable damage and become faulty. Furthermore, the storage environment should be odor-free since when storing a bottle of wine, its cork allows a small amount of oxygen to come inside to maintain the liquid fresh.

How Many Calories Does The Velvet Devil Merlot Have?

The Velvet Devil Merlot has a remarkable low-calorie density. There are about 24 calories in 1 fluid ounce of the beverage, equating to a total of 120 calories per serving. The calories breakdown is: 0g fats, 5g sodium, 4g total carbohydrate, 0g protein, and 1g total sugars. The Velvet Devil Merlot calories, therefore, constitute the wine a great dietary choice. The Velvet Devil Merlot alcohol content is 13, 5%, a standard alcohol concentration for a medium-to-full-bodied red.

Conclusion

Charles Smith The Velvet Devil Merlot is a one-hell-of-a-wine! It is a truly fantastic example of Washington State winemaking. In every sip, you feel the wine’s passion and sensuality. Opening aromas of fresh dark fruits infused with tobacco and woody flavors surface before the bold flavors from red fruits and chocolate complete the wine’s palate. The tannins are smooth and velvety, and the finish is fruity and radiant. To sum it up clearly and concisely, if the Beast had to choose a wine, The Velvet Devil would be the one. Velvety as the finest of Merlots and as devilish as the most secret temptations.

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