Jeff’s Corner 1-7-22

Hello, 2022!

I’m not sure how you got here so quickly, but now that you are let’s hope you’re a good one, filled with health, happiness, and plenty of Prosperity. I did my best not to blink very often in 2021 hoping it would slow down the calendar, but it didn’t work. I think Gandhi had the right approach; he believed we should live each day as if it were our last, and learn each day as if we will live forever. Happy New Year, everyone.

Today we’re going to check out our 2019 Texas Merlot, but first I’d like to take a short time out and thank each and every one of you that takes the time to read Jeff’s Corner week after week, year after year. My first blog appeared in the late spring of 2010, and I think some of you may have somehow read more stories than I have written. My sincerest thanks to all of you!

We released the ’19 Merlot a few weeks ago, and it is the last of the ’19 reds (except for the ’19 Petite Sirah, which we’re holding back) and ’20 whites and sweets to go public. We have already bottled the 2021 Riesling, and our bottling line is about to get real busy with our new vintages.

Now, on to the ’19 Merlot, but first, let’s revisit the origins of this very “noble” grape. Merlot was spawned in the late 17th or early 18th century (no one is exactly sure when) from a relationship between Cabernet Franc and a loose-clustered varietal (feigning royalty) named Magdeleine Noires des Charentes.

A classic GCV Texas Merlot, our 2019 is a medium garnet in hue and shows charming aromas of ripe blackberry, blueberry, black cherry, and plum supported by vanilla, chocolate, and cigar box. The ABV is an accessible, food-friendly 13.9% and a serving temp of 55-60* would be ideal.

Reminiscent of the legendary 2014 which won 3 gold and 3 double gold medals, the palate is soft and well-rounded with a seamless progression from front to back. Soft tannins and moderate acidity are well-balanced and lead to an incredibly long, sensual finish. Stock up on this one, everyone, it’s a great wine and is destined to be a collector’s item for a surprise reason I can’t yet reveal.

This is a very versatile wine with cheese, and will pair well with sharp cheddar, Havarti, Swiss, Gruyere, and Manchego, to name a few. We can, however, go crazy and try it with a dense, creamy New York-style cheesecake topped with a fresh blueberry compote.

Onward through the grapevines…