What a fun night! Merlot was our varietal to be studied and we were pleasantly surprised by our tastings!! Our wines tonight were from Napa, California ansd Stellenbosch, South Africa. The small difficulty was finding wines that were 100% Merlot! Here were some of our tasting notes.
Wine #1- 2013 Educated Guess Merlot from Roots Run Deep Winery 81% Merlot -19 % Cabernet Sauvignon – rich, jammy, ripe black cherry/ blackberry with a touch of green leafy tea/tobacco aromas and dark, ripe, almost stewed berry fruits on the palate. The density of the color we attributed to the addition of the Cabernet.
Wine #2- Rust en Vrede, 2013 Merlot from Stellenbosch, South Africa 100% Merlot – no noticeable fruit on the nose, but a smoky, almost burnt leaves smell…this wine intrigued us! The palate was entirely different than the nose! Tart, red cherry and red currant flavors sang on our palates! This was more complex to us, as the nose and palate were so different.
Wine #3- 2011 Raymond Reserve Selection, Merlot, Napa Valley, California No percentages available for this wine, but we felt it was pretty close to being almost pure Merlot. This was my favorite- delicate, bright, red fruit (with a hint of violet) on the nose, as well as the palate.
We tried all three wines with cheeses, cherries, grapes- all pairing well. We also tried them with chili and dark chocolate- not such great pairings! What I love about our groups is that we challenge our noses, palates, and really discover the “do’s and dont’s” of food-wine pairing. Our next varietal will be Chardonnay. Check back in a couple of weeks to read about our findings. Cheers!