I’m sure most of you remember the movie, Sideways. That’s the movie that literally devastated Merlot sales with one quote, “If anybody orders any Merlot I am leaving. I am not drinking any _____ Merlot!” Paul Giamatti’s character was a huge fan of Pinot Noir and as a result of the movie’s cult following, Pinot Noir sales skyrocketed. Look, I’m as much of a fan of Pinot Noir as the next guy but Merlot has always been one of my favorite go-to grapes – blended or straight up it’s a beautiful wine!

Two outstanding examples of how delicious Merlot can be are TrefethenFamily Vineyards and Duckhorn Vineyards.

Trefethen Family Vineyards Merlot, Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, 2013 ($40): A blend of 95% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon barrel aged for 18 months. Aromas of blueberry pie, spiced-cake, dusty oak and black cherry with flavors following of juicy blackberries and dark chocolate. It’s super smooth while finishing long. This wine was even better on the second day of tasting. You could drink now with decanting or age this for several years.    

Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot, Napa Valley, 2013 ($55): A blend of 88% Merlot, 7% cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc barrel aged for 15 months. This has intoxicating aromas of ripe cherries, cedar, Asian spice and orange peel with delicious flavors of black raspberries and sweet plum. It’s ridiculously balanced. This is another wine you could drink now or age for several years.

Both of these wines were absolutely inspiring but you can easily find some excellent Merlot at a lower price point. So let’s contribute to the movement of #MerlotMe and drink more of it.
Sláinte! TCW   


Copyright © 2013 The Chicago Wino