Monday, September 18, 2006
Wine of the Week #2
I know I said that I'd try to find a good wine under $10 this week, but I got distracted by this wine instead: the Hahn Estates 2004 Central Coast Meritage, which won a gold medal at this year's California State Fair. A meritage is a California wine made in the classic Bordeaux style of blending cabernet sauvignon, merlot and several other grape varieties to make a smooth and complex red wine. By the way, "meritage" is a marketing word made from "merit" and "heritage", and rhymes with heritage, NOT the French "Hermitage" (which is pronounced air-me-taj). There is no such thing as a "meritage" grape, so don't embarass yourself by saying there is.
I had this wine first a few weekends ago at Creekside Cellars and thought that for the price, it was a particularly good effort. Had it again a week later at Vino 100, and discovered it in the wine section at CostPlus World Market as well. Lots of raspberry and black cherry fruit, edging toward the jammy style, but well balanced. Obvious oak, with a hint of wood smoke. Mild tannins. If you like approachable, "fruit-forward" red wines, you'll definitely like this.
Available at Creekside Cellars, Vino 100 and CostPlus. Three and a half stars.