Varietal: Merlot (78% Merlot; 11% Syrah; 6% Tannat; 4% Petite Sirah; 1% Cabernet Sauvignon)
Region: California – USA
Cost: $10 (SRP)
Ruby red in color with aromas of violets and bright raspberries. Flavors of plums, cherries, and blackberry with a long finish. Pairs well with spiced lamb chops, pasta salad, and roasted chicken.
Recommendations: If you’ve been following this site for a while now, you know of my decision to give Merlot another try, having had some bad experiences with it in the past, but having recently found some that I enjoyed. Because of that, I was happy when some samples for Blackstone included a bottle of Merlot to help me on the path to acceptance.
The wine was a dark ruby color in the glass, very definitely red without any real hints of purple. On the nose I got raspberry and a hint of tartness which was then carried through to the palate where it reminded both my wife and I of just under-ripe cherries. I was pleased with the nice smooth finish though, which was impressive given the 13.5% alc/vol (not high, but not low either).
My wife and I paired the wine with a dinner of herb baked chicken and some butter noodles. Originally the chicken was supposed to go on the grill, but my grill was out of propane, so an adjustment had to be made. While the wine went well with the chicken, I felt as though the pairing could have benefited from the addition of some grilled flavor, and if you grab this wine and are trying to decide how to cook your chicken, I say grill it.
Merlot was one of those grapes that I had long said was the exception to my rule: With Merlot you got what you paid for. However, with the 2008 Blackstone Merlot I may have to revise that as for $10 it’s a great value and was an enjoyable bottle of wine. If you’re like me and are looking to give Merlot another chance, this is a good bottle to get started on as if it just doesn’t suit your palate, you’re only out $10.
If you can’t find the Blackstone Merlot near you, you can always go online here and pick up a bottle to enjoy.