Summer season’s gone, fall is upon us and the choices for fantastic wines from throughout is prime after months of “lighter” wines with “lighter meals.” Merlot, too typically the mixing varietal in larger Cabernets, is by itself an enchantment when it’s not too excessive in alcohol. Its best declare to fame is, after all, Château Pétrus and the area of Pomerol. Merlot is, in its approach, sort of a younger entry into viticulture, having been recorded in Bordeaux solely within the nineteenth century. Lighter variations have their attraction in Northern Italy, and Chile now produces some first-rate, well-priced examples. California does, too, although the alcohol can soar, on goal.
Listed here are some new Merlot bottlings now available on the market.
L’Ecole No. 41 Merlot 2017 ($37)—Washington States is simply too typically uncared for within the dialogue of pink wines as a result of a lot consideration is paid to California Cabernets and Oregon Pinot Noirs. Washington has lengthy excelled with Merlot, which by itself is at all times a easy, velvety pink that goes with something from pizza up via recreation dishes. This Walla Walla Valley varietal is produced from the grapes of two estates, with 79% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, and that classic had a heat Indian summer time. It’s about as excessive in alcohol as I need to see Merlot (14.5%), which suggests it’s fruit ahead, a minimum of in the meanwhile, so drink now.
Ehlers Property Merlot 2017 ($55)—One other large Merlot, this one from St. Helena in Napa Valley. Blended from three totally different clones, it has extra complexity than most from that area, and the ten% Cabernet Sauvignon offers it some backbone, and 22 months in barrel harmonizes the entire of it. Sugar ranges went excessive at first, then settled down, so this got here out at 14.5%. Roast veal could be excellent with this wine. However at $55 it’s getting up close to the highest of Merlot costs in America.
Cannonball Merlot 2017 ($14)—So, two, why not three Merlots, this one from Mendocino, although the fruit is sourced farther inland in Yolo County? The value, the daring identify and the screwcap ought to let you know one thing, however this has extra elements that comparable Merlots when you’re in search of a easy however stable pink wine for on a regular basis ingesting. I tasted a $72 Merlot from a better-known producer whose bottling was 14.9% alcohol that I pushed apart in favor of this pleasant one at 14.1%. I had it with a tomato sauce pasta in addition to rooster in a lemon butter sauce, and it was scrumptious.
St. Supéry Rutherford Property Merlot 2016 ($50)—This illustrious property will get its Merlot grapes from the equally illustrious “Rutherford Bench,” whose complicated soil composition makes for an equally complicated wine with wealthy fruit, good acid and luxurious texture. The make-up is 88% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and a couple of% Petit Verdot, so it’s near the flavors you get from the wines of St. Émilion and Pomerol. The classic was a really wonderful one, and the wine spent 19 months in new French oak to spherical all of it out. If you happen to’re keen to pay the worth, it will ship a wealthy reward that may match up with foie gras, venison or roast beef.