Varietal: Meritage (58% Merlot; 40% Cabernet Franc; 2% Petit Verdot)
Region: Virginia – Charlottesville – USA
Light to medium red color in the glass, with aromas of cherry and crushed berries. Flavors of cherry and fresh berry with a hint of pepper on the finish. Pairs well with grilled or roasted chicken and prime rib.
Recommendations: It’s been raining for three days here in Virginia, at least in my part of it, and nothing makes me want to drink some good red wine quite like a dreary rainy day. Because of that, last night my wife and I opened up a bottle of the 2005 Blenheim Vineyards Meritage. I’d picked this one up during our March trip through Virginia wine country, and with a dinner of some chicken out of the oven and orzo pasta it just sounded right.
It would have been right with anything. If you haven’t guessed already, Blenheim is hands down one of my favorite vineyards, both in and out of Virginia. Wines like this are the reason. The blend of Merlot, Cab Franc, and Petit Verdot gave a great wine that was full of fruit, but had just a hint of pepper on the end that was tempered by the Petit Verdot. Cherry and raspberry flavors were smooth, and the wine was light in the mouth.
If I had to describe this wine to somebody I’d probably call it a more fruit forward Cabernet Franc, but it’s really so much more than that. This is a great wine to just have around, and at $10 a bottle it’s arguably one of the best values I’ve come across. Sadly I don’t think it’s available anymore, though if you’re out at the vineyard (which I recommend) and they do still have some available, I do recommend snapping up as much as you can.