No Kid Sister here – October 2011 Red – Pearmund Cellars Merlot

2009 Merlot – Silver Creek Vineyard

Some folks think of Merlot as Cabernet Sauvignon’s kid sister; nice enough, kind of attractive but not nearly as bold or structured as a big Cab.  I tend to disagree.

There is much to like in the much maligned merlot with its thinner skins and early ripening, it is more adaptable to cool climates.  Grown properly, this fruity grape exudes soft, supple characteristics.

The 2009 Pearmund Cellars Merlot is deep and dark in the glass filling the surface with color from rim to rim.  The jammy nose is filled with strawberry tones and hints of black cherry.  Starting with a delicately balanced attack, the midpalate expands nicely to expose strawberries and rhubarb undertones. Young oak tones and firm but supple tannins highlight a rich finish that includes baked cherry undertones.

Proper serving temperature is critically important with this lovely Merlot.  I strongly recommend serving at 55 degrees F; any warmer you will lose some of the fruitiness, cooler and you will lose the structure.

This soft wine would pair exceedingly well with grilled lamb chops or savory chicken.  It would also be a welcome pairing with smoked herring on toast with mustard, earthy soft cheeses or even crème brûlé .

While drinking nicely now, this wine is still evolving in the bottle.  If you have the patience another 12 months will be richly rewarded.


About virginiawineclub

Chairman Virginia Wine Club Tasting Panel Editor, Virginia Wine Journal
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