#WICCG? In my last wine celebrating Washington Wine Month, I turn to Merlot. I’ve certainly enjoyed the Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Riesling over the last few weeks and was excited to try a Merlot this time around. I actually tasted a fantastic Red Diamond Merlot just a few weeks ago at an event and swooned all over it. And with the exception of the Cab that I chose, what has really struck me is how affordable the Washington wines are. That Red Diamond Merlot I was crazy for can be had for about $13! The Chardonnay and Riesling from the last couple of weeks were between $10 and $15.
This time around, I chose a bottle of Mercer Estates Merlot 2012 which was about $21. Again, Washington really does have some great value wines.
The Mercer family planted the first grapes in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA in Washington State, which is part of the larger Columbia Valley AVA. Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot it is one of the most widely planted varieties in the state. So apparently the folks in Washington were not swayed by Miles’ insistence that he’s not “drinking any f*cking Merlot!” Besides, the Right Bank Bordeaux people also kick butt at Merlot. I hear Chile also makes some noteworthy Merlot and will have to get out and try some of that as well. Perhaps a future adventure for my #WineSquad.
And while this one was no Petrus (like I would know), it was solid. It’s comprised of 87% Merlot, 8% Syrah, and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Yes, I know I’m missing 2% but that’s all I got.
This was a very easygoing, easy drinking wine.
In the glass it was a very deep burgundy, almost purplish with some spiciness and fruity jam aromas. There was also a bit of earthiness. Drinking it revealed a wine that was lush and velvety with lots of ripe dark red fruit. But even though there was very ripe fruit, it was still structured and had some nice acidity which made it great for pairing with food.
I paired this one with some eggplant parmesean that I slaved over. Yeah OK, Whole Paycheck, err umm Whole Foods actually whipped it up. I just plated it.
I loved the fleshy, fruity Merlot with the roasted eggplant and the richness of the tomato sauce and cheese. Comfort food all around. The Husband was definitely a fan. He finished off the bottle and was looking for more.
So now that I’ve explored four great Washington State wines for Washington Wine Month (happens every August) I’m all in for trying more. Good juice at great prices so there’s only upside. And Wasgington is definitely on my short list of upcoming wine destinations. Cheers!