A Month of Merlot

Like the talented child who has been overshadowed by his elder bother, Merlot is finally beginning to regain its birthright. The self-proclaimed Merlot Month of October is as good a time as any to celebrate this grape. IntoWine hand selected four Merlots to help you rediscover why Merlot is so good.

2016 Maison Riviere Château de Callac Prestige, France, Bordeaux, Graves, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$26.00USD

This is a blend of 60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon,  and 15% Cabernet Franc that sees 100% new oak.  .  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with black cherries, cherries, spice and slight cigar.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, cherries, some black cherries and underlying earthy tobacco notes.  Moderate finish.  This will work better with food than on its own.  Slow cooked, braised beef or lamb would work well.  Drink over the next five to seven years.  

2020 Veritas Vineyard Rosé, Virginia, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

This is a rose made from Cabernet Franc and Merlot in Virginia.  Light pink in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with strawberries and some watermelon.  Light to medium bodied.  On the palate, this is crisp and clean.  It drinks quite easily and there is nice watermelon fruit.  Moderate finish.  This drinks well on its own but should work with all but the heaviest of meat dishes.  Drink over the next year.  

2019 United Ink Red Blend, USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$18.00USD

At a recent tasting of United Ink Wines, this was the runaway crowd favorite.  It is a blend of 60% Merlot, 20% Syrah, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington state.  Garnet in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with black cherries, chocolate and slight black raspberry.  Mice mouthfeel.  Light to medium tannins.  On the palate, nice black raspberry and black cherries fruit with some chocolate.  Firm tannins on the finish.  This is delicious.  It drinks (easy).  Great on its own, this would be great with a burger or other foods off the grill.  Drink over the next five year

2015 Cramele Recaş Cuvée Uberland, Romania,Transylvania, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$39.00USD

This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from Romania.  Deep garnet in color, flat, and opaque.  The nose has black cherries, cherries, and some cassis, along with some smoke.  There is a slight stewed raisin quality to the fruit which is intentional.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, cherries, some char, some black pepper and some raisin especially on the finish.  A resemblance to an Amarone with a bit less acidity.  This seems like it should drink well for the next eight to ten years.  It will work well with meats or fowl in a wine reduction sauce and would be nice at

2017 Toad Hollow Merlot Richard McDowell Selection, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
80
Grade: 
B-
Current Price: 
$16.00USD

Purple in color with some Ruby swirls.  There is a ton of volatile acidity on the nose (nail polish).  Some mulberries.  On the palate, this is tart and tannic.  More sour cherries on the palate.  It is better on the palate than the nose.  Past its optimal drinking window.  Drink up.  Probably better without food as it might over power most foods.  

2016 Gitana Winery Lupi Rezerva, Moldova, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$26.00USD

Lupi mean wolves.  A very nice showing for this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Saperavi that was aged for a period of 10-12 months in 225l barrels and aged for at least 2 years in oak barrels from Krasnodar (Russia).  Purple in color, garnet at the rim.  The nose has black cherries with a hint of smoked tobacco ash.  Very interesting.  With air a bit of black coffee.  Medium to full bodies.  On the palate, black raspberries, cherries, a bit of dried currants and slight earthiness.  Strong backbone of acidity.  Long finish.  A really interesting wine with depth and complexity.  Tast

2014 Palazzo Right Bank Proprietary Red Reserve, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

This is a Napa wine made in the style of a right bank Bordeaux blend.  Mostly Merlot with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.  Purple/ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is nice with cherries, black cherries, slight chocolate, cigar box and slight earthy funk.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this has light tannins.  Flavors of black cherries, some spice with underlying earthiness.  Good balance.  Delicious.  Nice finish.  This is drinking well now but may still get better as it matures.  Drink over the next ten to twelve years.  This drinks well on its own and will work

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