September Tasting – Experimental Meritage

Wines are always left to the wine maker.  Some are experienced as others take a chance.  There are so many ways of making the special juice.  Have you ever felt you could make a wine that would taste great?  Making wine takes years and years of harvests and attention.

The club took the easy way. We decided to blend three varietals and attempt to concoct a great wine.  This experiment was interesting because most of us have never tried this.


The meritage was led by Jeff Tenin.  In his recent trip to where blending is a true art, Bordeaux.  He learned the craft and selected three varietals from Napa Valley.  We tasted them in the order below.

13_WineClubMiami_09_45Merlot by Martin Ray – Diamond Mountain District 2009. 14.6% Alc.

Cabernet Franc by World’s End – Against the Wind 2009.

Cabernet Sauvignon by Martin Ray – Diamond Mountain District 2009. 14.6% Alc.

Merlot: Dark red with hints of new leather.  Some dried cranberries with a light structured body.  The alcohol opened our palates and it had a lasting tart finish.

Cabernet Franc: Dark ruby red. On the nose it expressed hints of vanilla and ripeness.  Great depth and full bodied – not bold!  The finish was soft and tannic.

Cabernet Sauvignon: Ruby red.  French oak nose.  The taste and texture was a bit astringent and lasted through the long finish.

Now the blends:

  1. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10 Cabernet Franc: Great layers and complexity on the nose.  A full body and good finish.  (This was the teams favorite)
  2. 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc:  The merlot provided a great bouquet, however on the palate it was soft and tart.  The finish was long.
  3. 40% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 Cabernet Franc: Ripe Cherry Nose but the astringent of the Sauvignon was powerful. Tart finish.
  4. 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10 Cabernet Franc: Ripe cherry but tart.


We paired the wines with the cuisine prepared by Tuyo.  They menu was based on the music from Memphis.  Master Chef Norman Van Aken based his dishes from Carl Perkins, Booker T. and the M.G.’s, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Elvis Presley, and B.B. King.