Jeff’s Corner 6-21-18

“Hello, Merlot. Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone at home?”

Okay, enough with the cheesy Pink Floyd allusions. It’s easy to understand, however, why zee Merlot might want to hide its head after all the undeserved abuse it suffered in that silly “wine” movie “Sideways”.

Plus, I suppose it didn’t help much when I maligned “Mean Mr. Merlot” as the hated mound-charger for the Napa Nobodies in the finals of the Grapevine League against our beloved Grape Creek Clusters. PP Grigio was the unlikely hero when he hit a walk-off homer with 2 outs in the ninth. (See Jeff’s Corner 10-18-13 for more details.)


After all, Merlot (along with Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon) is one of the three great “noble” red grapes in the wine world. In contrast to its current nobility, Merlot was spawned in the late 17th or early 18th century (no one is exactly sure when) from a frisky relationship between Cabernet Franc and a loose-clustered harlot (feigning royalty) named Magdeleine Noires des Charentes.

Anyway, after all this, let’s take a look at our new GCV 2016 Merlot. It was released last Saturday and was quite a hit. Our ’16 Texas Merlot is mostly High Plains fruit, 13.6% ABV (alcohol-by-volume), and 95% Merlot with 5% Petite Sirah. The color is a lovely dark ruby with a hint of violet and shows a bright, complex rim.

This is a delightfully straightforward wine, with vibrant aromas and flavors of red fruit and spice. Layers of raspberry, red plum, and cranberry entwine with cedar, leather, cinnamon, clove, and a touch of evergreen. This is a very aromatic wine, with sweet oak and elegant, soft tannins.

This charming medium-bodied wine follows the tradition of our ’14 and ’15 Merlot by featuring outstanding balance. Fruit, acid, oak, and tannin create a flawless progression across our palate. The finish lingers with lots of fruit in a very beguiling way. I can’t wait to see how this wine develops over the next 9-12 months.

Let’s get the grill going and pair this very fruity wine with some thick-cut herb-crusted pork chops, caramelized sweet onions, and rosemary-roasted red potatoes. For dessert, how about some vanilla bean ice cream with fresh Texas blueberries. We’ll see you soon…