Region: Virginia – Charlottesville – USA
Rich and intense with gobs of concentrated currants. A touch of fresh earth and blackberry flavors. This tremendoulsy complex wine has big & round delicious firm tannins with an explosive finish. Pairs well with beef, lamb, steak, and pizza.
Recommendations: Back in March when my wife and I visited vineyards just up the road from us in Charlottesville, we stopped in at Blenheim Vineyards because I had fallen in love with their Cabernet Franc at the Virginia Wine Expo the month before and needed to buy more bottles of it. While there, we did their full tasting and picked up a bottle of their King Family Merlot.
This past weekend, on Labor Day, we finally opened it. Nice and dark in the glass, with aromas of cedar, earth, and berry and flavors of cedar, currants, and a hint of cigarbox on the finish (thanks to 18 months in French Oak) with a good tannic pop at the end, it was a perfect pairing with the grilled lamb and ground sirloin burgers we made.
I know that Merlot has gotten something of a bad reputation in recent memory, and I’ll be the first to admit that when tasting wines I was always hesitant about Merlot as I’d had a lot of bad ones, but during that trip and continuing on since then I’ve been very pleased to find a string of really good Merlots, many made right here in my home state.
If you’re one of those people that have a bad impression of Merlot, give this one a try and I’m sure you’ll be pleased. It’s one I plan to pick up again the next time I visit Blenheim (which will hopefully be soon), and it’s definitely impacted my views on Merlot in a very positive way.