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2017 Meritage

2017 Meritage
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Pulling the bottle directly out of the cellar, in February, produced a fairly cold bottle. Colder than what is typically recommended for tasting. But curiosity struck. Why not evaluate the wine at two temperatures? Wouldn’t it be interesting to see what characters were hidden in the cold and then revealed when the wine warmed up. The course was set.

As always, evaluation of the aroma comes first. The scents have the ability and power to prepare the tasters palate. Even though cold, the wine easily gave up marvelous scents of brown spices with cloves leading the charge followed by hints of nutmeg. The spices were quickly followed by a family of mainly dark berries, in a combo of candied fruits and some jammy versions of blackberry and boysenberry. All of this was tied together with a fine ribbon of quality French oak.

On the palate, the ripe tannins coated the front of the mouth and evolved into a smooth, almost silken sensation as the wine traversed to the back, and passed down the throat. Brown spices appear again, and then came the tidal wave of harmonious components of raspberry coulis, blueberry confiture, and blackberry jam.   This well-crafted, balanced wine, is rounded, without edges, and the integration of French oak is seamless.

Several hours later, after the wine warmed, all of the enticing aromatic characters were still present, but in a slightly different mixture. Nothing was missing. But as might be expected, a few more were discovered. This time rhubarb made an appearance, followed by a whisp of smoke, a dash of black pepper, and a splash of caramel. All welcome additions. The wine was still delightfully juicy, and now showed touches of cocoa powder.  But some savory notes appeared this time, as a counterweight to the abundant fruit, adding even more complexity.

Though youthful, the wine is quite drinkable and easily will provide pleasure over the next decade, if not longer.  Oh, the meals this wine will enhance.

Wine Specs
Malibu Coast
Alcohol %