$9.99 Back-Up-The-Truck Merlot

"2016" Domaine Amido Merlot

Apparently the Amido family planted this vineyard in Merlot about four decades ago, in order to sell to British supermarkets [perhaps that’s how a young Christopher Hitchens developed his taste for the grape?], but the Rhone-ish authorities frown upon Merlot, and so the Amido family is forbidden to place a vintage year anywhere on the label.

Nevertheless, rumor has it that this wine was bottled from the preternaturally over-ripe harvest of 2016, and it’s stuffed to the gills with flavor.

Upon opening, there’s a barrage of fruit & oak & residual sugar, although honestly I don’t think the wine hits its stride until about Day 2 or Day 3, when all the parts start to meld.

That distinct sense of disjointedness of disparate elements on Day 1 reminded me of the 2001 JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese, although with the Prum, it was the fruit & the acid & the sugar which were at odds with one another [rather than the fruit & the oak & the sugar].

But once the Amido settles down, it’s a mighty tasty drink.

I followed the bottle all the way through to Day 6 [side by side with an outstanding 2015 Grenache/Syrah/Carignan/Mourvèdre blend from the Southern Rhone], and the Amido never quit performing - it was still delicious at the end of the week.

If it hadn’t been bottled with a fake cork, then I might consider saving some for the 20- to 30-year timeframe, but with a fake cork, you’ll probably want to finish these off within the next decade.

Granted, most of the people on this board trend rather strongly AFWE, but if you have a spouse or some inlaws or neighbors or business partners, with a taste for the sloppy stuff, and if you don’t want to go broke catering to them, then here’s your wine.

Plus it just went on a Memorial Day sale locally, for $9.99, which is a Back-Up-the-Truck price within the category.


If it said “St Emilion” or “Pomerol” on the label, then this wine would cost ten times as much money.

[sound of crickets]

Thanks for the detailed TN. It just goes to show subjectivity in wine preferences: one person’s back-up-the-truck is another’s hard pass.

While I don’t doubt that some Pomerol/St. Emilion $100 wines have over-ripe fruit and/or RS, I wouldn’t buy those either. I suspect the best right-bank merlots (to my taste) in that price range do not.

Nice find, Nathan! Thanks for posting.

That’s a Select Green 100 Nomacorc. Good for 15 years. https://www.waterloocontainer.com/closures/corks/syn-ck-noma-slg100

While not something I’d seek out it does sound like it fills a role - cheap but quaffable “crowd pleaser” wine. Beats the hell out of forking over for something from the Wagner family at 2x-7x the price.