November 7th is National Merlot Day!
After the movie Sideways, Merlot has had its ups and downs, mostly downs. This is a wonderful varietal that can be the backbone to many great wines all over the world. Mostly grown on the right bank of Bordeaux, this varietal is actually the most planted varietal in France! The famous wine from Chateau Petrus is predominately Merlot. It deserves recognition and has been mostly underappreciated for what it adds to a blend. Now is time to celebrate those wonderful Merlot wines and prove to the haters what Merlot can do!
2001 Verite Le Desir
“The 2001 Le Desir (50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Malbec) came from Alexander Valley Mountain Estate fruit (two-thirds), 30% from Chalk Hill and a tiny dollop from Knight’s Valley. The most evolved of these three wines, it exhibits complex notes of spring flowers, underbrush, truffles, forest floor, camphor and red as well as black fruits. It possesses an opulent, full-bodied mouthfeel, fabulous purity and density and a long finish. The finish for all three of these wines lasts for close to a minute. Each represents extraordinary craftsmanship and, essentially, vinous confirmation of the vision of the late Jess Jackson. Those who think too many California wines are over the top may be surprised to know that the Le Desir’s pH is 3.68 and its true alcohol level is 14.1%.“ 97pts RP
2007 Arietta H Block Hudson
“My favorite wine is the 2007 Proprietary Red H Block from the Hudson Vineyard. Made from an intriguing blend of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot, it exhibits a dense purple color as well as aromas of blue and black fruits intertwined with spring flowers, chocolate, and espresso roast. This pure, full-bodied 2007 is both hedonistic and intellectually satisfying. It should continue to evolve for 10-12+ years.” 95pts RP