Sips of the Week
Lyeth Meritage 2011, Sonoma County, California $16.99
Winemaker’s Notes: In this spirit of the fundamental blending premise, Winemaker Bill Arbios has created this exciting blend of Bordeaux varietals from carefully selected vineyards from the most esteemed corners of Sonoma County. This wine’s blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot contributes to its unique flavor. Complex flavors of bing cherry and spice dominate the palate and are combined with hints of blackberry and a slight earthy component. This blend of flavors exhibits a good balance between acids and tannins that end with very smooth finish.
North Gate Meritage, Loudoun County, Virginia $20 (winery only)
Winemaker’s Notes: Science gives way to art when a winemaker puts together a blend of wines that is greater than the sum of its parts. We evaluate the characteristics of the parts we have to work with and then create a blend that shows the best of our Cabernet Sauvignon (52%), Merlot (24%), Cabernet Franc, (19%), and Petit Verdot (5%). The result is a full-bodied wine, complete and complex from start to finish. Full bodied Bordeaux blend, complete from start to finish. Winner of the Gold Medal, 2012 Indy International, Silver Medal, 2011 Grand Harvest Awards and Virginia Governor’s Cup.
Winemaker’s Notes: The 2009 Mariner presents enticing aromas with deep vibrant hues of attractive red fruits. Aromas are dominated by cassis and dark cherry, toasted vanilla oak, hints of crème brulée and notes of espresso. On the palate, the flavors are harmonious and supple with blackberry and sweet black cherry combining with a toasty complexity. The tannins are fine and grainy, lending excellent structure to this wine. The finish is long and lingering with a charming flavor profile that entices one for another sip. The blend consists of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 10% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc.
Mitch Cosentino, one of the founders of Meritage, tells us about the very first Meritage that was produced in 1988 when he owned Cosentino Winery in the Napa Valley. Mitch now co-owns pureCru Winery. He is known for his innovative and artistic approach to winemaking. He was involved with the founding of the “Group in Search of a Name” that became the Meritage Association. Mitch points out that over the past three years, blended red wines, particularly those using the Bordeaux varietals, have been the hottest and fastest-growing wine category across all price points. Last year sales increased a whopping 26%. Yes, we are the wine that sent Pinot Noir — which was the fastest growing category from 2004 through 2009 — “sideways.”
Robin Shreeves the Eco-friendly food blogger for Mother Nature Network will help us dispose of all that left over Easter Candy. Robin writes stay–at-home mom blogs about finding eco-friendly food options. Robin is a wife, mom to two fabulous boys, and a work at home freelance writer.
We’ll find out about the wines from Burgundy and Barolo!