…AND it’s super affordable, with a big Fuel-Saver to boot!! Let’s be honest, Merlot is still trying to break free of the damage done to it by Sideways way back in 2004 and it’s iconic I-can’t-quote-it-here line regarding the protagonist’s refusal to drink said varietal. And I’ll admit, there’s still cheap, crummy Merlot out there, but there’s also some really, really good stuff available for great prices…you just have to know where to look.
Granted, I would not have thought to look at Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand for a killer value in Merlot, but here we are! The cool-climate environs of Hawke’s Bay on the Northern Island has produced a sub-$15 bottle that shows plentiful varietal character, with good focus and admirable structure. The 2020 bottling is produced from Bordeaux Clone 181, with vines ranging in age from 3-19 years. A large portion of the wine was aged in tight-grained French barriques that had been air-seasoned for a minimum of two years. It clocks in at a reasonable 13.5%. But what’s it like, you ask?
It’s very, very good, especially for the price! The nose shows deep purple fruit, pepper, cocoa, and some pyrazine notes, with medium-plus intensity. There are flavors of dense black fruit, dark chocolate, a kiss of mocha, and hints of bell pepper and beautifully-framed tannins. Oh, and the critics agree!
“Plenty of merlot character here, with dark berries, fresh herbs, green olives and flowers on the nose and palate. Medium body with medium, round tannins and a polished finish.” 91pts James Suckling
“Black and red fruit with a hint of tomato leaf, toasty oak and savoury notes. Quite powerful on the palate.” 90pts Decanter
This is stellar cool-climate Merlot for the price…just buy it!! Find this on our new “Down Under Deals” endcap by the Wine and Spirits entrance!
$14.99/bottle with a $.30 Fuel Saver!!