05 November 2014

2012 50 Harvests Meritage

I'm always honored at the opportunity to taste small production wines. I tried the 2011 50 Harvests Cabernet Sauvignon in March, a Napa wine designed to celebrate 50 years in the California wine business. That link will tell you a lot of this family's history and how they got into the winemaking business.

This year, they marked their second half-century with their first Napa Meritage (from the 2012 vintage), made by the same Scotto family who produced the William Tell Cider I recently reviewed. This might be the most elegant Meritage I've ever consumed. I'm a fan of the type--Bordeaux-style without infringing on labeling laws and without strict varietal rules (though Meritage has a few...). Mainly California in source, but there are others produced domestically and internationally. You can find quite good, "drink now" bottles in the $20-30 range. Orthodox Bordeaux is wonderful, but sometimes it can be a little more fun with a bit of Petite Sirah or Zinfandel in it.

Last time I thought their release would go well with a well-aged ribeye, and this time around I did just that. Sometimes there are wines that you just sample and move on, but others you make a plan for. Nothing fancy, just a two-inch thick boneless ribeye cooked to medium rare, a loaded baked potato, and some steamed broccoli on a quiet evening at home. I'd had a glass breathing for about an hour, and finally gave it a sip. And oh, to be able to taste this in 6-8 years when it will really shine...

2012 50 Harvests Meritage
Napa Valley, California
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Malbec, 10% Petite Sirah
1,520 bottles produced (mine is #1248)
$50, 13.9% abv.

There is a lot going on with this particular nose. Aromas of chocolate, leather, coffee, black plum... On the palate dark fruit flavors of ripe blackberry follow with amazingly smooth tannins. Tart black cherry finish with a lingering flavor. The pairing with a thick, buttery ribeye was precisely what I was craving at the moment and I can't think of any combination that would work better for me. Highly recommended if you have the opportunity to try this impressive wine.

Note: This wine was provided as a sample for review.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My friend Anthony Scotto gave me a bottle of 50 Harvests, 2012, from Meritage. I was impressed.

I want 20 cases for my wine cellar.

What's the price, delivered to downtown Patterson, CA? Visa OK?

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