The 2010 Clos LaChance Meritage (Meritage indicates the wine is a blend of some or all of Bordeaux approved grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carmenere) blend grown in certified sustainably grown Estate vineyards in the northern part of the Central Coast AVA of California. Clos is an old French term for a walled vineyard or winery. Clos LaChance has not issued any information on the 2010 Meritage, but the 2009 was 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. Usually with an Estate wine you see a more specific sub AVA designation, but Clos LaChance’s vineyards are located in 2 different sub AVA’s, so the more general Central Coast will have to do. The winemaker, Jason Robideaux, ages the wine in mainly American oak barrels, along with French oak barrels. American oak has a more open grain than French oak and it imparts a more tannic backbone to the Merlot. I found the Blend selling for $9.99, but it seems to sell for around $15 on the web. The alcohol content is 14.5%.
The color is black cherry red with raspberry highlights. The nose is black cherry, plum, French vanilla, Nestle’s Quick powder, and cranberry. I opened this bottle about 3 hours before I poured a glass and I think that was a smart idea. This is a wine with solid, juicy Merlot flavors and a very strong, but not overly stiff backbone. It tastes of blackberry, black cherry (the cherry flavors are more smooth than tart), milk chocolate and cassis. The mid-palate adds a touch of vanilla, tart cranberry and softer strawberry, along with a slap from the tannins, they don’t bite, but they make their presence known. The acidity is solid and well balanced and add a nice sense of length to the flavor profile. The finish is fairly long and strong.
The Clos LaChance Meritage is an insane bargain at $9.99 and very fairly priced at $15. It is a solid, approachable, adult California take on Bordeaux wines, no need to reduce the tannins or sweeten up the wine for some American palates. The Clos LaChance Meritage is a very satisfying drink and should be even better in a couple of years if you have the means to cellar this wine.