The Third Party Candidate – Ingleside 2007 Merlot

SILVER – Town Point Wine Competition 2012

As we are in the midst of the political season, I believe if wine varietals were candidates, Merlot might be a Third Party candidate.  Recently considered something of forgotten grape, Merlot, like many third party candidates, offers something not found in the mainstream.  Soft and supple without tannic pretense, Ingleside’s 2007Merlot certainly will win over voters if given the chance.

After harvest, this Merlot went through eleven days of fermentation/maceration on the skins with daily pump overs to maximize the contact of the wine and skins.  The wine then went through a secondary, malolactic fermentation before spending four years in a combination of French, American and Virginia oak barrels.  Bottled in December 2011, this elegantly smooth is now at its peak of flavor.

The 2007 Merlot presents with a dark, almost opaque, core and crimson color from rim to rim.  The cherry filled nose also contains elements of cedar, strawberry and plum.  The well integrated subtle attack includes strong oak notes with fruit undercurrent.  The lightly tannic midpalate has a cascading of flavors including raisin, milk chocolate, blackberry and black pepper.  The finish lingers nicely in the rear of the palate with black cherry, raspberry and dark chocolate.

This full bodied Merlot will pair exceedingly well with Italian dishes with a touch of spice.  Eggplant Parmesan, green peppers with Italian sausage or baked ziti are each natural pairings.  It will also do well with braised beef in a peppercorn sauce or well- seasoned poultry.

Ingleside has done the aging for you.  This wine is now at its peak performance.


About virginiawineclub

Chairman Virginia Wine Club Tasting Panel Editor, Virginia Wine Journal
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