Jeff’s Corner 12-14-17

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Habari Gani, and to cover all the bases, Seasons Greetings!  Today we’ll check out the new 2015 Merlot, but first a vintage update on an older GCV wine.

Kathy and were celebrating some good news last week and I pulled the cork on a 2011 Mosaic.  It was really, really good!  The color was starting to fade just a bit on the rim, but the aromas and flavors were rich and well-developed with ripe, dark fruit perfectly integrated with mature tannins and acids.  If any of you are fortunate to have one of these, I recommend you enjoy it soon.  It’s a real beauty!

Now, onward through the Merlot with a little history from last years story.  The first written mention of the grape appears in 1784 where it was spelled “merlaut” in notes penned by a clerk in Bordeaux.  Then, in an 1824 article on Medoc wines, it was spelled Merlot and said to be named after the “Merlau”, a blackbird that was especially fond of dining on the grapes right off the vines.  The dark-blue hue of the grapes is also a reference to the color of a young blackbirds feathers.

I thought it would be nearly impossible for Jason to duplicate the grace end elegance of the 2014 Merlot (it won 3 Golds and 3 Double Golds).  The ’15 is, however, a very good wine with lots of character and its own unique charm.  It is nearly all High Plains fruit, with 64% coming from Andy Timmons’ Lost Draw Vineyards.

The color is a classic ruby/garnet and the alcohol-by-volume a ubiquitous 13.9%.  The aromas are bright and fresh, with delicate layers of raspberry, cherry, and blueberry mingling with toffee, cinnamon, and vanilla.

The palate is soft, graceful, and well-balanced.  The lively fruit flavors are in nice harmony with moderate amounts of oak, tannin, and acid which leads to a subtle, intricate finish.

The straightforward freshness of this wine makes it appealing to a broad range of palates.  It’s fruity and fun, and slightly chilled (maybe 60*) would be a great choice with a hickory-smoked ham on New Years’ Day.

Cheers, Everyone!