Wine Tasting - New Releases of Californian Meritage Blends|
November 8th 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
We will be tasting new releases of Californian Meritage Blends, for inclusion on our list. Most wines are varietal wines, named after the grape variety that comprises at least 75% of that wine. For example, a "Cabernet Sauvignon" labeled as such must be made from 75%-100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Many winemakers, however, believe the 75% varietal requirement does not necessarily result in the highest quality wine. And the generic name for wines with less than 75% of a grape varietal - "table wine" - does not convey quality. Meritage, pronounced like heritage, first appeared in the late 1980s after a group of American vintners joined forces to create a name for New World wines blended in the tradition of Bordeaux. The word was selected from more than 6,000 entries in an international contest. Meritage combines "merit," reflecting the quality of the grapes, with "heritage," which recognizes the centuries-old tradition of blending, long considered to be the highest form of the winemaker's art. Meritage wines are growing in popularity and are currently the second fastest growing wine category in the industry. They are highly regarded for their aging potential, yet are completely approachable in their youth. Many Meritage wines have proprietary names in addition to, or rather than, Meritage. In order to obtain a license and use the term Meritage on a label, a wine must meet certain criteria. A Red Meritage is a blend of two or more of the red "noble" Bordeaux varieties - Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot and the rarer St. Macaire, Gros Verdot and Carmenere. If the blend includes any other grape variety, it is, by definition, not a Meritage. Also, to qualify as a Meritage, no single grape variety can make up more than 90% of the blend. The format will be casual, walk around with cheese and bread. The wines featured will be:
Fleur de Lyeth, "Red Wine" California 2011
Sterling, "Vintner's Collection", Meritage, Central Coast 2012
Murrieta's Well, "The Spur", Livermore Valley 2011
B Side, "Red Wine Blend", Napa 2010
Trione, "Geyserville Ranch", Alexander Valley 2009
Reservations required; please call the front desk at (802) 253-5742 or (800) 826-7000.
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