casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

Day 74 – The Meritage Express . . .

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It’s no surprise that we enjoy tasting and blogging about blends.  Once the bane of wines, blends have become one of the more accepted wine varietals coming from California, New Zealand, Australia and other countries.  When we blogged earlier in the fall about Elements which was a 60/40 blend from Napa and Sonoma .  .  . we really enjoyed it and have shared it with many friends ( another shout out to Ed and Lori).  So, when we made our ‘infamous’ stop at World Market a few weekends back, we came across this little gem (or we were hoping) from a familiar name (Artesa) with a familiar name (Elements) only something was different.  It was more expensive – this one regularly retails for around $30 a bottle .  .  . it was ON SALE plus we got the ‘membership discount’ which meant  that our cost was $16.  Hmmm – kind of illustrates the mark up doesn’t it?

This blend is made up of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon; 16% Merlot; 5% Cabernet Franc; 5% Malbec; and 3% Petite Verdot – now ANY of these grapes in the hands of skilled wine makers can produce some amazing wines.  And, this wine coming from the Napa Valley, indicated to us that it had some pretty good lineage behind it.  What makes it a little challenging tonight is that we’ve already blogged about an Elements wine, so is this considered a duplicate?  According to the judges (we’ve thrown out the score from the Boone’s Farm Judge), this is a totally different wine – which we kind of already knew, but just to be on the safe side we double checked our previous blog . . . WHEW!

This one is simple.  If you can get your hands on this 2009 Elements Meritage – BUY IT!  No questions asked.  You’ll thank us in the long run – you’ll want to email us; call us; text us – because when you smell this wine and then taste this wine, you’ll be amazed at how beautiful it is.  We immediately get black cherry on the nose and the more it stayed open the more pronounced the cherry scent became.  The taste was just as flavorful with black cherries, cinnamon and spice and a hint of vanilla on the finish.  Depending on your food of choice, you’ll even get hints of chocolate – maybe even some cedar or spice.  It’s just an awesome wine for the price point and one that you should definitely bring to your friends or family this holiday season. We enjoyed this wine tonight with a dish of pasta and sauteed vegetables – heavy on the garlic, thank you very much. This was one of the few nights that Jean cooked – have to keep her in practice from time to time – Brian is usually the chef de jour, so gave him the night off.

While we will typically recommend a Pinot Noir for Thanksgiving – you have to have something for the day after, and this wine will make everyone (as long as they like red wine) happy.  We’ve been asked on a number of occasions, would you really buy the wines that you write about?  Our answer is – YES.  On this 2009 Elements Meritage?  You’d better believe it – in fact, we’re not going to  tell you where we’re going to buy our next bottles because we don’t want the supply to diminish before we get there!!!  Seriously, rare is a wine that is affordable, delicious and you could easily lay this down for another three to five years and it’d be even better than it is right now.

Hey, Thanksgiving is a week from Thursday – we’re looking for some wines to enjoy at the holiday.  Jump on this one.  It’s a winner – in fact most of the wines from Artesa that we’ve tasted are winners.  As we were reading about this wine from several wine review sites, we stopped at one with a review from this past September – Five Stars with comments that basically intimated, ‘This Is A Winner!”

As we get closer to ‘Turkey Day’, we’ll offer some thoughts about holiday wines, but regardless of which wine you choose to enjoy, please enjoy responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible.  Thanks for reading.

Dinner is served . . .


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