Sterling Vintner’s Collection Meritage 2013

sterling_meritage_2013The Sterling Vintner’s Collection Meritage 2013 is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot sourced from Sterling’s Paris Valley Ranch Vineyard near Monterey Bay along with other vineyards in California’s Central Coast AVA. A Meritage wine (rhythms with heritage) is a Red Blend wine based on the wine-making tradition of Bordeaux, France. The approved grapes (Red wine) are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carmenère. There is a Meritage Alliance with member wineries in 29 states, members pay a fee to use the name Meritage. While the ruling authority in Bordeaux has many rules and regulations the French wineries must obey, the Meritage Alliance has guidelines they wish you would follow. The alcohol content is 13.5%.

The color is crimson red with an almost clear halo. The nose is dark berries, with oak spice, vanilla, chocolate and a little spearmint gum.  This is a smooth, dry, medium bodied wine, with solid structure. It starts with ripe plum, black cherry and a hint of dark chocolate. The mid-palate shows blueberry, vanilla and tart cranberry. The tannins can be felt, but they don’t get in the way and the acidity is balanced by the body of the wine. The finish is blueberry and chocolate powder, it fade quickly but sticks around for a while.

The Sterling Vintner’s Collection Meritage 2013 is a smooth, balanced, good tasting Red blend, a quick check of the web showed it selling for a couple of bucks either side of $10. While the blend uses Bordeaux approved grape varietals, this is a very California wine, fruit forward, tasty and then good structure. With Bordeaux wines the structure is as important as the fruit flavor, California, which is a warmer and therefore riper grape growing area, likes to show off the fruit. The Sterling Vintner’s Meritage is a very solid Red blend selling at a wallet friendly price.

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Don’t tell anyone, but there is absolutely no correlation between the cost of wine and the quality of wine.