Fellow Merlot lovers – have you noticed any headlines in the wine magazines you frequent pointing out that producers of world-class Merlot are struggling to keep up with demand? After all, many Merlot vines were torn out in the early Aughts—thanks to one cult-classic movie, which shall not be named! But that’s all changing, and the wineries that held onto their precious Merlot, are reaping the rewards.
Lot 886 2021 Alexander Valley Merlot, comes from a well-known Merlot-focused vintner who has been featured on Wine Spectator’s Top 10 Values lists and “10 Commendable California Merlots.” The Russian River, which snakes its way through Alexander Valley, brings cool air with it during the warm growing months, allowing the natural acids in grapes to remain firm, which leads to a remarkable freshness, or brightness, in the wine – a fantastic AVA to grow Merlot. At nearly $40/bottle at the source winery’s tasting room, it can be yours today for only half at just $20.
Boasting a deep ruby color in the glass, Lot 886 is fabulously decadent and plush, revealing a wealth of flavors on the palate of ripe cherry, fragrant red currants, and spiced Santa Rosa plums. The finish is rich and velvety with lingering notes of black fruit, dried herbs, and baking spices. Enjoy a glass while prepping a roast chicken, another while whipping up a rich mushroom gravy, and depending on how long it takes for dinner to cook, maybe even crack open a second bottle.
Watch as Chris Lafleur, Sommeliers Creed for Cameron Hughes walks us through a tasting.