Home Wine Regions Californian Wine Dancing Bull Merlot – Big, Fruit-filled and Tasty

When you see the label on the Dancing Bull Merlot you might think that the design looks similar to that found on Rancho Zabaco Zinfandels.  Well, it is… and the two are related.  Rancho Zabaco, part of the E&J Gallo portfolio, has been around since 1996 and has developed a good reputation for Zinfandel over the years.  They also produce Sauvignon Blanc, but they are best known for their Zinfandel, of which they have a few different offerings.

The Zinfandel under the Rancho Zabaco label comes from the Sonoma County region, but starting with the 2000 vintage, winemaker Eric Cinnamon started experimenting with a Zinfandel made with grapes from other parts of California.  The new wine was released under the Dancing Bull sub-brand, which has a lower price than other Rancho Zabaco wines.  Now, to transition from Zinfandel to the topic of the day: Merlot.  In 2006, Dancing Bull added a few additional varieties to the brand, including Merlot.

Dancing Bull Merlot

If you’re a fan of jammy Merlot, this is a good pick for you.  It’s fairly simple but pleasant on the nose, with jammy blackberry, plum and a dash of leather. The palate is big, fruity and well rounded with lots of boysenberry and plum.  The mid-palate brings a quick hit of raspberry.  The finish is relatively short.  It’s not elegant or extravagant but is a simple, tasty Merlot.

Wine: Dancing Bull
Variety: Merlot
Vintage: 2006
Alcohol: 13.5%
Rating: 85
Price: $12.00

Find Dancing Bull Merlot with Snooth

3 replies to this post
  1. At your suggestion, I just tried a glass of the Dancing bull. It was awful! It had a sharp tang as if diluted with rubbing alcohol. Not at all drinkable. Though you rated it just average, I think Blackstone is far and above the better merlot for the money.

  2. I’m sorry to hear you had an icky glass of merlot. What vintage was it? I’d expect it to be the 2007 or 2008 on the market these days, which we haven’t tasted.

    Thanks also for the reco on the Blackstone. Cheers!

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