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What Is A Meritage Wine

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Somersville Cellars 2020 Lodi Red Meritage

What you need to know about Meritage Wine | Explained

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Red Meritage is a wine that blends the traditional varietals of the Bordeaux Appellation in France.

With our 2020 Red Meritage, we blended 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot, all of which were sustainably grown in Lodi. These three varietals bring their own twist to the tannins, color and structure. This young, vigorous dry red blend has a deep purple robe. The nose is intense with dark fruit like blackberry, cherry and black currant. A second nose of mature characters of leather, tobacco and cigar box is also perceptible. This wine is built for longevity and will start displaying more mature characters throughout its aging. The mouth has a light, fruity attack that is quickly overpowered by the tannins. This wine has a lot of depth, balance and a silky finish.

Whats In A Meritage Blend

Meritage wine is made from at least two of the noble Bordeaux grapes, with one grape variety making up no more than ninety percent of the total blend. And thats it!

Once a winemaker has created their blend, they have to apply to the Meritage Association to use the term Meritage on the label, since its trademarked. But those are the only two application requirements.

The grapes that can be used in a red Meritage are:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Carmenère

If the wine contains any other grape variety, it cannot call itself Meritage.

White Meritage, like white Bordeaux, is a rarer blend, but if you can find it youll discover a very food-friendly wine thats generally described as elegant and balanced. The grapes that can be used for white Meritage are:

  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Semillon
  • And Muscadelle du Bordelais

A very short list compared to the red Meritage! Again, no other grape varieties can be blended into the wine if the winemaker wants to call it a Meritage.

Ask A Somm: What Is A Meritage Wine

Welcome to Ask a Somm, a column in which experts from across the country answer questions about wine.

With food halls opening left and right these days, it’s no surprise to hear that San Diego now has its very own: Liberty Public Market. A total of 27 vendorsoccupy 25,000 square feet, from sausages to seafood to sweets, and at least one venue is equipped with its very own sommelier, Mess Hall. A unique concept in itself, the eatery sources all its seasonal ingredients from vendors within the market, and sommelier Tami Wong pairs unsung varietal wines from lesser known worldwide regions. Below, she explains Meritage wines.

Q: What is a Meritage wine and can you recommend some great bottles to try?

Wong: Heritage , is a New World wine blended in the more traditional Bordeaux-style. A red Meritage wine must contain at least two Bordeaux grapes from the following varietals: cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, malbec and petit verdot. These wines are routinely named among the worlds most highly rated bottles, as they boast a silky smooth, complex, yet robust structure.

A white Meritage is a blend of two grape varietals, either from sauvignon blanc, semillon and muscadelle du Bordelais. These wines are an ode to the centuries-old tradition of blending, which has long been considered one of the highest forms of winemaking.

These wines are an ode to the centuries-old tradition of blending, which is considered one of the highest forms of winemaking.

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What Is A Meritage Wine

First, divest yourself of the temptation to pronounce it Mary-Taj. Its pronounced like heritage. Yeah, that goes against the forced grown-up pronunciation boot camp weve all been through . But the reason its pronounced that way has a lot to do with its meaning. See, meritage is basically a made-up word. And unlike bromance or amazeballs, it was made up for a good reason.

If you know your wine history, youll know that in the 1976 Judgment of Paris wine competition, some upstart Napa Valley winemakers beat the French at their own game. Safe to say, by the 1980s, American winemakers could lay claim to some high quality, high value wines. And by the late 1980s, some of those American winemakers were tired of giving their wines generic names.

See, early American winemaking fell hard for the varietal style, meaning a wine made largely with one kind of grape. Yep, wines named after a grape dont have to be made with 100% of that grape traditionally 75% is the minimum. But by the late 1980s, there were other winemakers in the New World who werent just making single varietal wines, but sophisticated blends. In fact, there were some winemakers in America doing pretty much exactly what they were doing in Bordeaux: blending incredible wines from a select variety of noble grapes. But because these wines werent at least 75% of a particular grape, they had to settle for terms like red blend, table wine, or a made up name that carried no cultural cachet.

drop!

What Is Meritage Wine

Cru International Meritage

Red Meritage wines historically have been among the world’s most highly rated wines. 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 Carmenère.

Considering this, is Meritage wine sweet?

White Meritage is relatively simpler in that it is essentially a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. A little of the aromatic Muscadelle grape may be added, but the variety is too sweet for most modern American palates and is used more as a condiment to the wine than a staple ingredient.

Additionally, how is Meritage pronounced? Although many people, including many wine experts, have a tendency to Frenchify the word “Meritage” by pronouncing its last syllable with a “zh” sound, as in the U.S. pronunciation of “garage,” the Meritage Alliance specifically states that the word should be pronounced to rhyme with “heritage”, that is, Meritage

Accordingly, what does Meritage wine taste like?

A meritage tastes just like Bordeaux, since it’s made with the same grapes!! There’s a rich, full aroma to it. Depending on the particular blend, it can be blackberry, black cherry, spices, chocolate, and vanilla. Most Meritages have the Bordeaux signature flavors – cigar box, rich fruits, with a hefty feel.

What food goes with Meritage wine?

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Meritage Wine What Is It

Perhaps you have heard the term Meritage Wine and have wondered what it means. Is it a “special reserve”? What exactly are the merits of meritage?

These wines are a blend of Bordeaux varietal grapes. They are not to be confused with inexpensive blends of jug wines.

Meritage wines use specific grapes, and wines are made in the Bordeaux style. In types of red wine, sone of the grapes used are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Malbec. In types of white wine, the grape varieties are: Sauvignon Blanc, Semillón, and Sauvignon Vert.

These wines were first made in Napa Valley in the mid 1970s. Joseph Phelps Winery believed that they could make a great wine by blending with less than 70-75% Cabernet Sauvignon. The idea caught on with other Wineries in the Napa Valley, though these wine are now produced in other areas of the United States, and other countries as well.

Reds

Red Meritages are made from a blend of at least two, but perhaps more, of the following varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Carmenere, St Macaire Gros Verdot, Malbec. No one variety can make up more than 90% of the blend

Whites.

White Meritages are made up of: Sauvignon Blanc, Semillón, Sauvignon Vert, with no grape variety making up more than 90% of the blend.

For more information visit The Meritage Association at http://www.meritagewine.org

Learn Everything You Need To Know About Meritage In Video

The word Meritage is the combination of the words merit andheritage.

The word was chosen as the brand name to convey the combined sense of quality and tradition.

So how did this word come about? The Meritage Alliance, which is a non-profit organization, was founded in 1988 with the aim of promoting blended wines of superior quality, mainly from California and Napa Valley at the time. That was because many Californian winemakers were frustrated with the varietal wine-labeling requirements in the US which obliges a winery to drop the name of the varietals like cabernet or Merlot is the wine contains less than 75% of it. So blended wines were considered of lesser quality, while of course the good ones arent. Hence the term Meritage to try and identify the good ones. Does that make sense? Let me know in the comments

So to make a Meritage wine and use the term on your labels, well you have to be a member winery of the Alliance. Its also suggested that you make less than 25,000 cases of your wine per year, which is 300,000 bottles, which honestly is quite a lot for a high-end wine anyway. So a fairly loose limit there.

Now the grape you can use in the blend though are more restrictive.

They are only the traditional grapes from the Bordeaux blend. Namely the 5 red grapes for red wines that are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Carmenère.

And the 3 white grapes which are Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle.

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The Origins Of Meritage Wine

Meritage is a general term used to describe wine made from specific grapes selected from Bordeaux varieties.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Californias winemakers were making waves around the globe with their delicious vintages, and as a result, Americans were increasingly being taken more seriously as vintners.

During this time, a group of American winemakers decided to create their own vintage using only the very best French Bordeaux grape varieties.

As blended reds became more and more popular, these enthusiasts realized the potential for creating something magnificent by combining several grape types.

So just what is Meritage wine, and how did it get its name? Meritage, which combines the word merit with heritage was created used red and white grapes labelled as noble.

Noble grape types are those deemed particularly high in quality these are: Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet and Merlot.

At the time, and still to this day, Bordeaux is one of the worlds most famous and well-respected red blends, so American winemakers decided to give the French a run for their money, creating Meritage and even winning a competition with it.

Today, Meritage can be either red or white wine, is largely made in grapes from California vineyards, and typically should contain only the finest wine varietals – and only those that use Bordeaux grapes.

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What Are Meritage Wines

Dry Creek Vineyard: The History of Meritage Wines

4.9/5Meritage wineswinesMeritageanswer here

White Meritage is relatively simpler in that it is essentially a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. A little of the aromatic Muscadelle grape may be added, but the variety is too sweet for most modern American palates and is used more as a condiment to the wine than a staple ingredient.

Beside above, what food goes with Meritage wine? Pairs well with red, savory meats, grilled or roasted. Foods and Entrees that usually pair: Beef, lamb, game, chicken, turkey, veal or pork grilled, roasted or braised, chili, hamburgers, meatloaf, mushrooms, cheese based pasta, risotto.

Consequently, what does Meritage wine taste like?

A meritage tastes just like Bordeaux, since it’s made with the same grapes!! There’s a rich, full aroma to it. Depending on the particular blend, it can be blackberry, black cherry, spices, chocolate, and vanilla. Most Meritages have the Bordeaux signature flavors – cigar box, rich fruits, with a hefty feel.

When would you decant a bottle of wine?

A particularly fragile or old wine should only be 30 minutes or so before drinking. A younger, more vigorous, full-bodied red wineand yes, even whitescan be an hour or more before serving.

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How Much Does Meritage Cost

Meritage wine encompasses a wide range of different vintages, and so the price varies wildly.

While there are many meritage bottles that cost hundreds of dollars, you can easily pick up a bottle of great Meritage for as little as $20.

Whether youre a wine connoisseur who wants to add a great vintage to their collection, youre buying a nice wine as a gift or a dinner party offering, or youre simply looking to indulge on a weekend drink, Meritage wine is a great option for any occasion.

Next: Heres a list of the best sweet red wines for $30 or less!

Meritage Bottlings Merit Attention

Perhaps no region in the wine world is as well equipped to make quality Meritage-style red blends as Washington state.

We are a red-heavy region with a particular affinity for Bordeaux varieties and one of the regions able to grow all the approved grapes.

A group of U.S. producers created The Meritage Association in 1988, and its guidelines for bottling a Meritage require any combination of the noble Bordeaux varieties. For a red, that would be Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Carménère and the little-known Gros Verdot and St. Macaire. A white Meritage is limited to Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle du Bordelais. No grape can contribute more than 90% of the final blend.

Each gives a winemaker tremendous flexibility in creating a high-quality final blend. It is as if this style of red blend was made for Washington vineyards.

The Cabernet-heavy vineyards of the Columbia Valley and abundance of Merlot are the bedrock of Washington reds. A variety of microclimates and soils provide the working material. The addition of drought-resistant Cabernet Franc offers smooth spices, adding complexity without bringing heaviness.

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As you get out and about this summer wearing a mask, of course consider Meritage-style blends a natural extension of our regions wine landscape. I hope you find some to celebrate.

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The Best Meritage Wines

A delicious, drink me now pick from Napa Valley, the Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Rutherford Meritage Lot 100.A Meritage blend from

Bulk Buy! The Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Napa Valley Meritage Lot 86.A Meritage of undisclosed varieties from Napa

An easy to drink red blend with a blue collar price, the Roustabout Meritage from Trader Joe’s. A Meritage blend of 63% Cabernet

Trader Joe’s releases a 2012 Meritage from the exclusive Oakville AVA in Napa Valley for under $20, the Oakville Bench Meritage.An

Save 36% for a limited time on the highly satisfying and highly recommended FiveWise Meritage Blend from Scheid Family

A solid wine at a great price, the Trader Joe’s Reserve Napa Valley Meritage Lot 181. 46% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc, 22% Petit

Get it while you can, the Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Sonoma Meritage Lot 92. Bulk Buy!A Meritage of Merlot,

A sweet and smooth red blend from Paso Robles, the Aldi Outlander Meritage.A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec and

The Cameron Hughes Napa Valley Meritage, a Bordeaux blend by a different name.A Meritage blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and

BULK BUY! Meritage from Napa Valley, California.Available exclusively at Trader Joe’s. Purchased for $12.99.No info on

58% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Malbec from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California.Available

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About Reverse Wine Snob

Meritage: The New World Wine Made From Traditional Bordeaux Varieties

Wine with a view at The Meritage (Napa, California ...

Close up image man and woman hands with goblet of wine at the sea side

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King Family Vineyards in Crozet, Virginia has won two Virginia Governors Cup awards thanks to its flagship wine: Meritage. Several of its neighbors have enjoyed similar success from their Meritage wines, including Jefferson Vineyards, Stinson Vineyards and Pollak Vineyards.

Meritage wines are from the New World, blends made with the “noble” Bordeaux grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and St. Macaire, Gros Verdot and Carmenère for reds and Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle du Bordelais for whites.

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What Kind Of Wine Is Meritage

4.6/5Cabernet SauvignonCabernet FrancMalbecMerlotPetit VerdotGros VerdotCarmenère

Just so, what does Meritage wine taste like?

A meritage tastes just like Bordeaux, since it’s made with the same grapes!! There’s a rich, full aroma to it. Depending on the particular blend, it can be blackberry, black cherry, spices, chocolate, and vanilla. Most Meritages have the Bordeaux signature flavors – cigar box, rich fruits, with a hefty feel.

Subsequently, question is, what food goes with Meritage wine? Pairs well with red, savory meats, grilled or roasted. Foods and Entrees that usually pair: Beef, lamb, game, chicken, turkey, veal or pork grilled, roasted or braised, chili, hamburgers, meatloaf, mushrooms, cheese based pasta, risotto.

In this way, is Meritage wine sweet?

White Meritage is relatively simpler in that it is essentially a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. A little of the aromatic Muscadelle grape may be added, but the variety is too sweet for most modern American palates and is used more as a condiment to the wine than a staple ingredient.

How do you pronounce Meritage wine?

Although many people, including many wine experts, have a tendency to Frenchify the word “Meritage” by pronouncing its last syllable with a “zh” sound, as in the U.S. pronunciation of “garage,” the Meritage Alliance specifically states that the word should be pronounced to rhyme with “heritage”, that is, Meritage

What Is A Meritage Wine Explained Glossary Of Wine Terms

In short, Meritage is a wine term used to describe Bordeaux-style red and white wines made by members of the Meritage Alliance. The Meritage Association itself says that its used to identify handcrafted wines blended from the traditional noble Bordeaux varietals.

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