What is it? First of all, pronounced correctly, Meritage rhymes with heritage, It’s a wine made from a blend of two or more of the following Bordeaux varietals; Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Malbec, St. Macaire, Gros Verdot, Carmenere). None of the varietals can be more than 90% of the Meritage blend. They range in style from soft approachable red wines that drink nicely now to bold, structured red wines that can age gracefully for many years. California stars include:
Joseph Phelps Insignia
Always a show stopper – Insignia was among the first “Bordeaux blends” produced back in 1974. This vintage showcases tons of dark berries with an overlay of spice and tobacco, and ends beautifully with lingering, supple tannins. The 2002 Insignia received high honors as Wine of the Year!
St Supery 1999 Meritage
Seductive aromas great the nose and draw you into this gorgeous wine. Layers of intense cherry and berry unfold on the palate, lovely cocoa overtones, smoky oak and a hint of clove lead this gem to a memorable finish.
Merryvale Profile 2000
Intoxicating aromatics lead to a mouth filling richness of luscious berry and currant flavors. A kiss of cinnamon and spice, and silky tannins add to the elegance of this impressive wine.
Ferrari Carano Tresor 1997
This awesome vintage richly coats the palate with intense cassis and blackberry flavors and offers great depth and complexity. A beautifully crafted blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Also, here are a few great red blend values from California and Washington (under $20):
Cinnabar Mercury Rising 2001 (California)
Nicely balanced blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab Franc and Petite Verdot that won’t break the bank. Delicious ripe blackberries on the palate, toasty oak and vanilla accents top it off beautifully!
Francis Coppola Claret 2000 (California)
Inviting aromas, tons of lip smacking berry flavors on the palate, well integrated spiciness and soft tannins – a juicy blend of Cab. Sauvignon, Merlot and Cab Franc.