Gabriele Rausse 2011 Merlot

Recently, some winemakers have referred to Merlot as the “sissy” grape.  Taken at face value a varetially accurate Merlot (especially from the 2011 vintage) can be thin and weak in the midpalate.  These words do not describe Gabriele Rausse’s 2011 effort.

In the glass the wine presents as a dark purple, almost opaque.  The color fills the glass from rim to rim.  The nose is filled with deep jammy strawberry notes and undertones of Blackberry, plum and anise.  The attack is slightly fruit forward but retains a level of elegant subtlety.

On the midpalate this wine expands larger than its varietal heritage, with undercurrents of milk chocolate, black cherry and light tannic influences.  The finish lingers nicely on the rear of the palate with leather notes and silky vanilla tannins.

Suggested pairing for this Merlot would include the traditional fare including steak, lamb as well as grilled game but I would encourage experimentation with this versatile wine.  Pairing with grilled turkey burgers resulted in a very nice balance between lightly tannic merlot and the hearty spiciness of the poultry burger.  I believe this wine will pair with most any dish served, including fish.

I fully anticipate this wine will increase in character with additional bottle aging and proper cellaring.  Patient club members will be rewarded with additional cascading flavors on the midpalate and finish.

DRINK NOW – FALL 2014

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About virginiawineclub

Chairman Virginia Wine Club Tasting Panel Editor, Virginia Wine Journal
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