October means many things to lots of people, however in the wine world, it means we have actually reached Merlot Month. I still maintain my position that Merlot Month should be celebrated all year long, however even I fall prey to the powers of alliteration. Here are some of my favorite merlots worth consuming well past Oct. 31.
J. Lohr Estates “Los Osos” Merlot, $15
Look for notes of black currant, black plum and violet here. Coming from the El Palomar district of Paso Robles, this white wine reveals waves of depth and freshness vintage after vintage. A full year spent aging in American oak barrels gives the last subtle kiss of richness to the red wine’s finish.L ‘Ecole No. 41
Red wine, $22
Washington state makes a few of America’s many interesting red wines, and Walla Walla-based L’Ecole No. 41 is a decades-old pioneer in the state’s red wine market. The winery’s Columbia Valley red wine is light and energetic, more akin to driving a convertible down the Columbia River Valley than drinking on a stately Bordeaux. The wine’s long, bracing surface is a standout at this cost point.Markham Vineyards’
The Altruist,’ $27
Even though it’s from Napa Valley, The Altruist is imitated the merlot-heavy blends of Bordeaux’s legendary Right Bank. Here red wine partners with its French good friends of cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot, malbec and cabernet franc to form a wine that’s as plush as it is seductive.Silverado Vineyards Mt. George Vineyard Red Wine,$ 38 While the Silverado winery is near the heart of
Napa Valley, the Mount George vineyard lies on the valley’s southern, cooler end, where cooling breezes from the San Pablo Bay keep the grapes from ending up being overripe under the California sun. This wine balances being round and full-bodied with a taste buds that’s full of delicately fresh fruit taste; believe pomegranate and cloudberries. Benefit points if you can get a bottle of the 2018 vintage– it’s a stunner.Chateau Belle-Graves Lalande de Pomerol,$42 An individual favorite, this is a traditional, silky-smooth take on the merlot-dominated Bordeaux mix. Try to find notes of plum, stogie box, Rainier cherry and funk. The existing vintage you’ll discover in stores now must be beginning to peak around its 10th birthday. As it ages, you’ll discover those fruit keeps in mind start to integrate and pave the way to tips of great leather, soy sauce and fresh earth (dirt– yum!). Duckhorn Vineyards Red Wine, $55 If there’s one California winery that’s associated with merlot, certainly, it
‘s Duckhorn. The winery was established
in 1976, producing 800 cases of merlot throughout its inaugural 1978 vintage. Their Napa Valley bottling with its hallmark mallard label is immediately recognizable in white wine shops across the state. Every year, it always showcases incredible depth and structure, along with a nose that makes me think of cooked rhubarb, completely ripe black plums and cocoa powder. If you’re searching for a vacation gift for someone additional unique, try a bottle of their 3 Palms Vineyard red wine($100+ ). It’s always worth the splurge.As always, you can see what I’m consuming on Instagram at @sethebarlow and send your wine concerns and quibbles to [email protected]!.?.!