Here is another of those red wines I had recently. It was an interesting blend – a Meritage – using grape varieties common in red blends from the Bordeaux region in France. In fact, Meritage is a name invented by American wine growers as a way of recognizing their efforts to make New World wines in the Bordeaux tradition. According to meritagealliance.com, “A Red Meritage is a blend of two or more of the red “noble” Bordeaux varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot and the rarer St. Macaire, Gros Verdot and Carmenère. If the blend includes any other grape variety, it is, by definition, not a Meritage.” This particular selection was made from 49% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc.
Varietal: Red Blend
Appellation: Paso Robles, California
Price: $7.99 at Trader Joe’s
Notes: The color of this Roustabout was a very dark red with a nose of dusty berries and turpentine. Acidity was quite bright, tannins were moderate, and alcohol was at 13.8%. Flavors were dark but not heavy – dark berries, cedar, pepper, a touch of sweet cola and a rubber not near the finish. I liked it, especially given the price. Good for sipping or serving with a casual meat dish. I’ll definitely be headed back to the store for more. In fact, I’m in search of a wine to serve for a family style birthday celebration at a BYOB Italian restaurant. It’s a candidate for sure.