I think it was Mr. Gomer Pyle who made the expression his own, adding in a special flavor of southern drawl…
I think it was also Gomer who frequently exclaimed “surprise, surprise, surprise.” So maybe our new ‘B’ Meritage was made with him in mind!
This new arrival sure took many of us by surprise. The 2012 B Meritage ($19.99) from Lake County, California, is a delicious change up from not only just plain Cabernet or Merlot, but also a fresh look at Lake County. We are all familiar with the small handful of red blends we offer from Clay Shannon, all of which are Zinfandel based or blended with a complete palate of grapes, usually NOT Cabernet or Merlot, at least not in any major role.
The blend is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 7% Malbec and 6% Petit Verdot, which fits nicely into the Meritage framework of a Bordeaux style blend. If you have tried the High Valley Zinfandel or High Valley Cabernet recently, you have some idea of the quality Lake County delivers for next to nothing...so take some of that Cabernet, add in a healthy dose of Merlot and a dash each of PV and Malbec, and as you might imagine, it is a full-bodied effort with deep color, rich fruit aromas and loads of flavor. Cabernet lends it’s full force weight and power as well as the structure, tannins and acidity which are required for the balance. The Merlot lends a fruit component to the mid- palate. This blend, the basic idea behind Bordeaux wines, works so well because each variety adds what it does best to create a blend better than the component parts.
The B Meritage began arriving in stores just last week--and it will not last!
Shayne Hebert, Central Florida wine supervisor
Follow me on Twitter @abcwineshayne.