Saturday, December 12, 2009

Seven Artisan Meritage

The weather stayed cold, but the sun was bright yesterday so the outdoor grill was calling. We answered that call with a dry aged strip steak, baked potato and carrots.

The wine was a Seven Artisans' 2006 Meritage from the Suisun Valley in northern California. This is the same winery that produced a wine I liked a lot last spring, 2005 Sly Dog Cabernet Sauvignon.

This wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot and Malbec. Straight from the bottle to the glass the nose was a little closed, but some swirling brought out cherries and raspberries and some other red fruits. The body was medium, as was the color in the wine.

The taste was straight forward, bright fruit with some good tannin and acid, but with the steak some darker fruit came out, blackberries primarily. The tannin and acid cleared the palate after a bite of steak and there was a touch of wood on the finish to complete the wine.

Overall this was a better wine with food than it was by itself. There wasn't quite enough depth for it to standby itself, but if you have a steak nearby it would be a good match. The wine checked in at 14.1% alcohol so there was no problem with a second glass with the meal. Surprisingly there were some fresh blackberries in the fridge so we sniffed then ate a couple of them and confirmed that the darker fruit coming out with the steak was blackberries.

Keeping Things Honest:

One thing I've noticed on other wine sites lately is a disclosure about the source of the wine being discussed. That's an idea that I like a lot. After reviewing the Sly Dog Cabernet Sauvignon referenced above, and buying four more bottles while it was available in the local area, the winery provided this wine. The review is honest and now the source of the wine is honest also.

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