Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sapphire Hill 2009 Merleaux, Sonoma County

Merleaux 002

Looking for a perfect Mardi Gras wine? We humbly suggest Merleaux from Sapphire Hill.

Honestly, I should have saved this for Mardi Gras myself – but since I didn’t, I’m spreading the word so you can score some in time for your Fat Tuesday celebration.

The label shows a colorful Mardi Gras mask (or should I say masque?) and the name adopts the N’awlins spelling of “Merleaux.” All of this would mean nothing if the wine inside doesn’t measure up.

Happily, this is a very enjoyable bottle. The primary grape is Merlot from Sonoma County – which is pretty good right there. The winemaker has added some “Cajun-style spices” in the form of Barbera, Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, Syrah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sounds like the ingredients in a potful of gumbo!

This is a rich tasting wine with a kick of spiciness that floats over top. This is a fun wine. I couldn’t help thinking about New Orleans and the great food, music and people there. It’s a quality bottle of Merlot, but the blend gives it additional complexity.

It’s a party in a bottle and it only costs $20. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Rating: 3 of 5  Value: 3 of 5

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