Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Sagelands Merlot - Worth Every Penny

Though Pinot Noir seems to be the fashionable wine currently, the number one selling red varietals in the US is still Merlot. For producing domestic Merlots, the state to find them is Washington. A close cousin to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot thrives in slightly cooler conditions than its cousin, giving Washington State a natural growing advantage. While many fine Merlots are produced in the state of Washington, one producer year after year is mentioned by Wine Spectator for its flavor and value. After drinking Sagelands Merlot you’ll agree, the wine is worth every penny. So at ten bucks a bottle, Sagelands Merlot allow you to save money but still enough a quality bottle of wine.

Located in the "Four Corners" region of Washington State's Columbia Valley (Wahluke Slope, Horse Heaven Hills, Rattlesnake Hills and Walla Walla Valley) Sagelands vineyards have emerged as superb growing regions for both Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Developing strong relationships with local growers and supervising the cultivation of its vineyard sources assures Sagelands Vineyard an outstanding palette of top quality grapes with which to create wines of impressive quality and value.

Wine making at Sagelands is managed by a native of Provence, France, named Frederique. She went to Perpignan University in southern France to study agriculture. While in college she began visiting wineries and discussing wine, and soon realized she could combine her two loves of farming and wine by becoming a winemaker. Frederique earned a degree in agronomy and then continued her studies in winemaking for two years at Toulouse University, , graduating "with distinction" in enology and viticulture

Frederique Spencer says one of the best things about her job is she's always trying to improve. "We're always trying something new in the vineyard to make the best wine," says Frederique. "And every year we learn something about winemaking. You never stop learning."
That desire to learn and improve has lead to the annual production of a consistently quality Merlot, the 2002 vintage is no exception. This bright garnet-color Merlot displays a vibrant nose of ripe Bing cherry and mixed berries with notes of violet and cocoa. This delicate and medium-bodied wine shows a great deal of flavors like Bing cherry, vanilla and a splash of blueberry. The palate is very soft and round thanks to fine tannins. The fruit expression lingers on a pleasing finish.

Sagelands Merlot is a perfect wine for any occasion. You really can’t go wrong with a wine recognized for quality and consistency, or when the varietal was grown in the best region of the country and depending on the season perhaps the world. But perhaps the best reason to have Sagelands Merlot on hand is the value, even if your guest aren’t wine lovers you won’t hesitate to open another bottle of this enjoyable wine, it’s easy to afford another bottle.

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