The very recently released DiStefano 2005 Meritage (a blend with roughly equal parts Merlot, Cab Sauvignon and Cab Franc) will do well to calm down for a little while. We just sampled it for the first time at a recent trade event, and it was a bit warm and just slightly tight… characters that will rest into the darker fruit structure underneath with a short bit of aging (just 2-6 months). To be sure, it was delicious and balanced. The 14.9% alcohol is a high mark in winemaking (a ranting discussion about the creeping alcohol levels in wine can be found on another blog) but knowing this ahead of time can help you match this wine to the occassion you desire. Drinking this wine conjures up feelings of structure, warmth and relaxation. Enjoy accordingly!
The release notes mention:
One of our boldest Meritage blends, the 2005 is full of robust flavors. Lots of black berries, blueberry, caramel and spice. Delicate aromas of violet and sweet cigar balance and undertone of dusted earthiness. The palate is alive with juicy berry flavors and wooded spices. Mature, round tannins give great structure to this wine, with a touch of oak giving way to a long, toasty finish. Drink now thorough 2012.
“Meritage” is a coined and trademarked wine marketing term used to identify specific Bordeaux-like blends now that we’ve agreed to follow the laws that prevent wineries from simply labeling it “Bordeaux” like they did in the 70’s. The Meritage Association guides use of the term, which can be used to identify either red or white wines, although Meritage white wines remain quite obscure. The reds are created from blends mostly using Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petite Verdot and Carmenere.
DiStefano Winery in Woodenville was born not so long ago from owner Mark Newton’s passion. His original releases bore his last name until questioned by the older Newton winery of California, giving Mark the perfect opportunity to rename his winery after his soon-to-be-wife Donna DiStefano, and to issue the first DiStefano Sauvignon Blanc as a part of his wedding gift.
This wine is regularly sold for $16.99, but is available to wine club members for only $14.99!
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Have you tasted this wine? When you’ve had a chance to enjoy this wine, please return to this blog and leave your comments! Others will appreciate your input, unique viewpoint, and recommendations.