Found this wine the other day at Trader Joe's when I was looking for some good bargains on vino. At $4.99 a bottle. I had to try at least one bottle. The alcohol content was a bit on the low side, I like a nice Merlot or Cabernet around 13% alcohol or higher. This one clocked in at 12.5%, On the cusp. I've never heard of the vineyard though I can see how the name could be easily confused with the award winning Raymond Winery in Napa Valley. But wait, This one says on the bottle that it was cellared and bottled in Napa?
OK, That sold me on the bottle as I knew Raymond Winery was from Napa. The back label has a basic and generic description of what the wine will taste like and the types of food it should go with. Standard stuff like "Perfect with hearty beef stews, grilled chicken salad and a pork loin". That pretty much covers the whole 9 yards for this little Merlot.
After opening the bottle we let it rest for a few minutes to breath and let the wine mingle with the air and get cozy. At first whiff of it you definitely smell black cherries and not much else. You really need to let this wine open up for at least 15 to 20 minutes or more and then approach it again. You will be pleasantly rewarded by this $4.99 bottle of wine as it really starts to come alive. yes you can smell and taste some cherry and a hint of smoke with a a little creamy chocolate as well. It has a very nice well rounded palette and a soft mouth coating tannin feel to it. No this will never pass for an Actual wine from the Raymond Winery. But for every day drinkability. This wine gets the foodopolis good deal approval rating.