Author: Mike Madigan
Everyone who has something against Merlot or think they have some legitimate stance against Merlot.. my “opinion” is to let it go. Much of the discord with Merlot of course precipitates from the movie “Sideways”, a film I quite enjoy to be honest. BUT.. there are Merlots out there, domestic and distanced that would utterly wow you. To write off all Merlot is absurd. Now, if you don’t like Merlot as a result of simply not enjoying the innate characteristics of the varietal, then fine. But to universally dismiss Merlot is putting you as the consumer in a position only to miss out on extraordinary wines. Some producers that hold my attention with bottling extraordinary Merlot are Pride, St. Francis, Trefethen, Duckhorn, PlumpJack, Paradigm, Gundlach Bundschu, and countless others. There’s incredible Merlot out there. And if you should know, Merlot was the varietal that brought me into the wine world, to living as a proverbial wine consumer.Merlot to me has always been the Pinot of the Bordeaux varietals; gentle but assertive, misunderstood and unappreciated. It’s about time we shed our Sideways syndrome and give the lovely poetic and prominent varietal a new chance to greet us, show us all as wine lovers its innermost dimensions. So then my official position, or “tip” on Merlot is to go out there and buy some, drink it, and decide for yourself. Fully explore and expose yourself to this delicate and ill-portrayed wine type. Pour some in your class, even write down what you taste. Don’t make it complicated, use simple and singularized words.
And.. finally.. am I drinking a Merlot while writing this? Well yes... A 2010 from Quantum Cellars, crafted by no less than Mr. Roger Rosenblum himself. And to be frank, I’m floored. Arguably one of the most expressive and magnetic wines, period, of any varietal, that I’ve sipped in the last couple years. A Merlot... So that shows you, don’t be swayed! Go out there and find some majestic and magnanimous Merlot!
À la tienne,