Oh yes, Nectar rings a bell! I haven’t tried it. It looks like we’ve sold lots of vintages of it, mostly en primeur as you correctly surmised! I’ll have to look out for that in the next EP…
Thank you for the reminder about Alpine Wines. Ironically I have Joelle’s business card in the pile next to the PC. As you say, Alpine aren’t cheap but then Swiss wines are quite pricey in Switzerland. I buy most of mine in Lavaux from the producers or in Ticino at Matasci where I get collection discount and loyalty points!
Merlot is the most planted grape in Bordeaux and many of TWS inexpensive clarets are Merlot, and I drink a lot of them.
But the most knockout Merlot I had recently was Peirano Estate Vineyards Merlot “Six Clones” Heritage Collection from California by way of Majestic. But it no longer shows on their website.
I tried to get 100% merlot for a tasting once and found that most has other grapes added into the blend (as is allowed by law!) - really does change the flavour profile
(£16.50) 2011 vintage = 70% merlot, 15% petit verdot, 5% cab sauv. I had a bottle of the 2010 at Xmas and loved it… very ‘Pomerol’ yet without a vanity price tag. This is their ‘grand vin’ and they also make a 2nd and 3rd selection, so the top class should be OK in an average year like 2011. That’s the theory in anyway?
One of the defects (IMO) of the TWS website is that you cannot search for 100% varietal wines. Searching for a grape variety will return any wine that mentions the desired grape.
We have enjoyed the bonterra merlot which we had after watching a documentary on the vineyard
It’s up front but delicious, would be a contrast of styles to a Bordeaux merlot blend for sure!
But not 100% Merlot…
Additional complexity comes from the small additions of Petite Sirah and Malbec.
I can’t vouch for it as I haven’t tried it yet but this looks interesting…
…I rarely drink varietal Merlot but the notes sound appealing. Her Pinots are excellent, both for quality and value, so will take a punt the next time I order.
I have 6 bottles of this that I acquired as part of a VCP about a year or so ago. I haven’t opened any yet so can’t vouch for quality and is slightly over the price range. Would be interested to know if anyone else has tried it.
Trying this on Saturday, will let you know!
I keep seeing this in Costco from Stags Leap district. A well known established producer and wondered if anyone has tried their Merlot? Again as @peterm as said this also is only 88% Merlot, some petit Verdot and not sure what else . Interested in hearing if anyone’s tried it?
I tried it and struggled with it. Probably about 6 months ago. Austere. VERY firm tannins. Not very generous even after day 3. I was trying so hard to find a chink of approach-ability.
I was going to wait a couple of years before trying another one, but also would be very interested to hear another opinion
The winery is in Stags Leap but this wine is from bought in grapes from the general Napa Valley appellation.
Just tried it. Short decant. Rather nice. Blueberry and blackberry. I might have guessed zin if i didnt know but not quite as rich and the finish has that tell tale (for me) bell pepper. Oak is clear but not overdone. Good but not great but very pleasant. If i had 6 I’d want to try and space them out although drinking fine now. Probably better in a year?
We tasted this last night, and I agree. Everyone in our wine group liked it a lot.
Top tip - We saw them at a local wine fair and their Dogaia was incredible…Somewhere between a nebbiolo and pinot noir, but less acid and with bags of savoury flavour. Yes it was expensive but it’s one of those wines I literally bought on the spot!
I second the Exhibition rapel Maerlot. It was served at our christmas dinner table - Lots of potent blackcurrant fruit but it was deliciously ripe and classy fruit, a little pencil shaving too. Good value and well worth a punt at such a price. I’d make a little shout for the society’s claret - Blended but I believe Merlot dominant and stonking value.
That’s the Merlot/Gamaret blend, right? I had my eye on it too for some time!
As an aside, I think Gamaret (and Garanoir) can make such lovely wines… the recent one I had from Alpine Wines was fab. They do often turn up in wine fairs and I think have a presence in Three Wine Men events too. You can even place an order with them and pick it up from one of those fairs, if you don’t want to pay their delivery charge.
Yes! Can’t believe there was merlot in it!
I opened a couple of bottles of the Long Meadow Ranch over dinner with friends this weekend. I wasn’t too sure how it would go down so I had a couple of bottles of Meerlust standing by in reserve but it was well received.
Not a run of the mill fruit bomb Merlot. Very nicely balanced wine with good acidity to counter the red fruit. I was pleasantly surprised.