Vendange Merlot

Originally posted 11/22/2010 at Blogarhythms.

This is not a label I tend to seek out.  I’ve had Vendange wines a few times before at fundraising receptions and the like.  My memories of the experiences have kept me from purchasing any myself.  But since I am discussing inexpensive wine here from time to time, it seemed only appropriate that I should take the plunge for the blog’s sake and report back.

Vineyard:     Vendange
Varietal:       Merlot
Vintage:       NV
Appellation: California
Price:          $10.99 per Magnum

Notes:  For me this was a very different kind of wine experience.  When I first opened the bottle, it was tight and watery and just plain unpleasant.  BUT … as it “breathed” and oxidized, the wine began to develop flavors that weren’t half bad.  Here’s what I found.

The flavors seemed to open the more air it got.  So, my first suggestion is to open the bottle well before you serve it.  At this price level, I’d even suggest pouring it into a carafe as soon as you pop the cork and well before anyone takes a sip.  As the wine opened there were flavors of dark plum with hints of cherry and leather notes.  With still more time to breathe, the leather dissipated and the fruit lightened a bit, settling into dark cherry with strawberry notes and vanilla.  Tannins are moderate in this non-vintage Merlot.

Important:  I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.

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