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Meritage Wine Details

Description: A dreamy blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc ~this sophisticated union of reds reveals an easy blend of spice, tannins and oak. A House favorite for celebrations, fine dining and outdoor relaxation! As originally conceived over ten years ago, Meritage is defined as a blend of Merit (among the best wines a winery produces, likely in small volumes) and Heritage (the Bordeaux tradition of blending varieties). Today, there are many imaginative blends on the market.

Varietal Definition
In 1988, a group of American vintners formed ‘The Meritage Association’ to identify handcrafted wines blended from the traditional "noble" Bordeaux varietals. Most American wines are labeled after the grape variety that comprises at least 75% of that wine. A label with "Cabernet Sauvignon" indicates that the wine is comprised of 75% or more of the grape variety Cabernet Sauvignon. Many winemakers, however, believed the varietal requirement did not necessarily result in the highest quality wine from their vineyards. "Meritage" was coined to identify wines that represent the highest form of the winemaker's art, blending, and to distinguish these wines from the more generic moniker "red table wine." "Meritage," pronounced like "heritage," was selected from more than 6,000 entries in an international contest to name the new wine category. “Meritage” is an invented word that combines "merit" and "heritage" --reflecting the spirit of members of ‘The Meritage Association’. A red “Meritage” is made from a blend of two or more of the following varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, St. Macaire, Gros Verdot, and Carmenere. A white “Meritage” is made from a blend of two or more of the following varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Sauvignon Vert. No single variety may make up more than 90 percent of the blend.
Cabernet Franc:
Cabernet Franc is an accessible, spicy, herbal, dark blue grape variety that is often compared to Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Franc tends to be softer and has less tannin than Cabernet Sauvignon, although the two can be difficult to distinguish. Sometimes the French refer to Cabernets, which could mean either of the two grapes. Its typical aromas include an herbaceous and pronounced peppery nose, even in ripe fruit, and something eerily like tobacco. The Cabernet Franc ripens at an earlier stage, which gives it reason to exist in the Bordeaux area. In the Loire, where we find it a lot, it gives a clear red fresh and fruity wine.
Cabernet Sauvignon:
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most widely planted and significant among the five dominant varieties in France’s Bordeaux region, as well as the most successful red wine produced in California. Though it was thought to be an ancient variety, recent genetic studies at U.C. Davis have determined that Cabernet Sauvignon is actually the hybrid offspring of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Sauvignon berries are small with black, thick and very tough skin. This toughness makes the grapes fairly resistant to disease and spoilage and able to withstand some autumn rains with little or no damage. It is a mid to late season ripener. These growth characteristics, along with its flavor appeal have made Cabernet Sauvignon one of the most popular red wine varieties worldwide.


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