10 February, 2015

50 Shades of Harvest - 2012 Meritage Napa Valley Red Wine

Fill in the phrase: " Fifty...?"  Chances are with the media blitz going on around us, you answered "...shades of gray."  My book club succumbed, my blogger gal pals are all in and it's in the air it seems.  So when I saw this on my sample shelf, it seemed like the right time to break it out and try it, though it has nothing to do with the movie marketing juggernaut. Although it is  from the Steele Canyon Cellars #Anastasia

In this case less BDSM and more Bordeaux-style blend with my favorite All American moniker: Meritage.  This you will recall is the trademark for wines made in America blended in the style of Bordeaux. American, so it rhymes with "heritage" and has rules of its own.  When you see the designation Meritage, you know the producer is working to invest in quality wines of place.  50 Harvests is no exception.  The Scotto family worked with Mitch Cosentino to make this wine. 

2012 Scotto Cellars 50 Harvests, Meritage, Napa Valley, CA ($50): This wine is made from a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Malbec and 10% Petit Verdot grapes grown and hand harvested in Napa's Oak Knoll district.  Great care was taken including getting the fermentation started within four hours of harvest.  Continuing with that care, the wine was aged 18 months in French Oak then five more months of bottle aging. All the components were fermented separately then combined to make this interesting and well integrated offering

This produced a wine with a lovely dark ruby but reflective color.  I could see its youth in the dark heart and consistent to the rim color.  Aromas straddling the line between vinous and brambly dark fruit also showed anise, chocolate and soy sauce.  The texture was silky and the flavors dark but perfumey with violets in the mid palate, pleasant tannins and a long interesting finish.  It is suggested to hold it till 2020, and could use some patience, but it was nice now.

The Scotto family has been making wine since 1883 starting in Italy.  2012 marks the 50th California harvest for them, so this is a cool and special wine to commemorate their success here in the US.

I wish you luck avoiding the 50-Shades-of -anything onslaught, but here is one "50 Something" you should seek out.

Many thank to Gray Matters Communications for the sample!

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