Hamilton Merlot & Chocolates Gift Set

Hamilton Estates Merlot & Harry London Chocolates Gift Set
Sold by: Wine Trade Network
$34.99 $65.00 46% off List Price
(1) - 2010 Hamilton Estates Merlot, California
(2) - Harry London Dark Chocolate Squares, Approx 12-Pieces per Box


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Hey fellow wine wooters, I haven’t been very active on these forums for quite a while due to a new career, but I was pleasantly surprised to be picked for a golden ticket (do we still call us lab rats?) anyhow I received a bottle of Hamilton Estates 2010 Merlot. I’m going to give you guys some of my tasting notes and then my overall impression. I popped the cap off this much like Aaron Burr, sir (it was a theatre geek imperative to make this joke) and gave it a quick sniff…It had a solid dark fruit smell. I figured a wine this old would need some time in the decanter, so I poured it off and put the finishing touches on dinner. 20 minutes later I had a little taste. The wine tasted a little hot for its 13.5% ABV, but that seemed to smooth up quite a bit after about 40 minutes in the decanter. Any fruit smell from the beginning was an anomaly, as this wine was not a fruit bomb, except for strong hints of cassis, there wasn’t much else in the flavor profile except a little oak and vanilla. The finish was pretty short as well.
I wrestled with myself a little about this, because I really love being a Grape Debater, but I’d be doing my fellow wine.wooters a disservice without being completely honest. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Hamilton Estates 2010 Merlot. I’m not a Merlot hater, but this reminds me of why the varietal gets some of its scorn. The wine was a little thin, and pretty unimpressive. I’m going to pass on this one. Thanks again for the chance though!
P.S. I’m headed to work right now, but I’ll check in at work and after for any questions.


I popped my cherry (or grape?) as a Grape Debater when I received an email on Wednesday telling me that I had a wine coming my way. Needless to say, I was quite excited to go pick it up and give it a shot.

I received a bottle of 2010 Hamilton Estates California Merlot. I set it on the counter and let it settle for a day before cracking it open.

I opened it up yesterday at room temperature after work to sample it before having it with my dinner. Upon opening (screw cap) and pouring, I noticed a very muted nose and a lighter color than I am used to seeing in a Merlot. Swirling it around in the glass produced very thin legs. Taste was dark fruits with a slight metallic taste toward the finish. I had this bottle with a supreme pizza for dinner, and it paired well, but again the flavor was very subtle and muted.

After about 20 minutes opened, I used an aerator to see if it would produce any noticeable changes. This definitely opened the nose up some, noticed a stronger presence of dark fruits. This still is a very subtle wine with muted tones, so it was quite difficult to get many individual flavors out of it. The taste had a little more dark fruit flavors from before, and the slight metallic taste was still present but less noticeable.

After about and hour and a half, I finished up the bottle, and the taste was about the same as it was when I first started aerating it, but now I no longer noticed the metallic taste on the finish.

I would say that this was a decent drinking wine for the price and it would go great with the chocolates offered in this deal, but it just cannot hold up to stronger foods.

I looked up prices on this wine, and it appears to be about a $10-15 bottle online. For that price, it is a fair wine but forgettable wine.

I hope this information helps you all out, and thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts on this bottle!

Thanks for the honest review, you definitely didn’t throw away your shot (at Debaterhood).

I recently saw Hamilton and was surprised how good it was.

Whilst the Merlot is claimed to have notes of Chocolate, there’s no claim that the Chocolates have notes of Merlot. Isn’t that an appalling lack of symmetry?