This week Dezel is going back-to-back with two Merlot-based wines: one is the Chateau La Fleur Montage Saint-Émilion 2005 and the other is Virginia’s own Willowcroft Vineyard Merlot 2001. The 2005 Bordeaux is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. At $13.99, this is a good example of a satisfying 'everyday' drinking wine. It is smooth and balanced with soft red fruit flavors and hints of spice (clove and cinnamon) and vanilla. With the cooler autumnal temperatures it is a nice value wine to partner with grilled dishes, light chesses, or to sip by itself while reading a book (or my blog…lol) next to a toasty fireplace.
Willowcroft Vineyard Merlot 2001
The Willowcroft Vineyard Merlot 2001 is a selection that I actually forgot that I had in my collection. It was mixed with the 2004 bottles, so I was glad to have found it. Those who seek this vintage out may have difficulty finding it since I do not think it is being carried in the tasting room or in local wine shops that carry Virginia wines. The winery currently offers their 2004 vintage. I will be honest with readers and admit that it was not my intention to lay this wine down and let it age. Not to knock the local wines, but the reality is very few are age-worthy. I have been disappointed with some 2003’s, and even 2004 wines that after 3+ years went down hill. Now, understand, most local wines, as well most everyday, easy drinking, fruit-forward wines are made to be consumed young – and are highly drinkable upon release. Bottle aging will not necessarily improve this style of wine or make it more interesting. What will likely happen is that the wine will lose the very thing that made it desirable in the first place – the fruit.
With that said, the Willlowcroft Vineyard Merlot 2001 is drinking surprisingly well; however, if you have some in your personal stash, I recommend consuming it sometime soon. From what I recall, this wine is blended with a splash of Petit Verdot, and won several awards in 2005. On the palate are dark cherry and light plum flavors with hints of pepper and herbal nuances. The body is on the lean side of medium and the finish is medium length. Overall, the Willowcroft Merlot is an easy drinking wine with soft tannins that would be a nice addition to your Thanksgiving Day wine list. It still has good acidity and the soft flavors will not overwhelm anything on your Thanksgiving day table or similar foods. This wine retailed at the time for about $17.00. If you cannot find the 2001, try the 2004. It has also won numerous awards and is a comparable Merlot that would partner with a number of food dishes.
Click Here to visit the Willowcroft Vineyard website.
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