Beringer Knights Valley Meritage Comforts on a Winter Night

It has been a particularly cold winter with plenty of snow and gloomy skies here in Central Iowa. 

I have consumed a good number of hearty Cabernets to offset the chill and gloom.

One that stood out for me was the Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  This is Sonoma, mind you, not Napa.  I found it to be edgy and exciting, filled with complex, intense flavors.

Having never tried the Beringer Meritage from the same area, I decided it was time to do so.

Meritage (pronounced MEH-rih-tage, like Heritage) is a term used by U.S. wineries for their higher-end Bordeaux blend wines.  These wines must contain at least two or more of these varieties:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, or Carmenere, and no single varietal can make up more than 90% of the blend. There are white Meritage wines as well.

The Beringer Knights Valley Meritage 2010 is made of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Merlot.  The color is deep purple/garnet.  Lots of smoky oak aromas are layered together with a hint of graphite (I remember this vividly from the Cabernet), dark berry and blueberry.  A pop of spice and fresh herb folds in, too.

The palate is rich and supple and full of dark fruits—blackberry and black cherry, with more of the smoky oak along with more fresh herb and spice.

The Beringer Meritage was not as edgy as the Cabernet, due to less Cabernet grapes and the Cabernet Franc and Merlot rounding it out a bit.  It was a perfectly comforting, warming drink on yet another cold, snowy winter’s eve.


About the author: Sue Navratil

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