X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
It is said that Merlot, meaning “little blackbird” in Bordeaux patois, is the blackbird’s favorite grape. According to Pliny the Elder, whose name attests to wisdom, “The best kind of wine is that which is most pleasant to he who drinks it (first century A.D.).” Here relativism makes an unexpectedly early appearance, and I would have liked to question old Pliny about this, had he not died (rather abruptly) of asphyxiation, at Mt. Vesuvius. Something about Pliny the Elder’s words resonates with me, and so I wonder if his spirit doesn’t shudder when it overhears conversations laced with snobbery, or sees numerical values assigned to individual wines, or listens to us extol the virtues of one grape variety at the expense of another … . This varietal favoritism is particularly true where Merlot is concerned. Merlot has a forwardness and accessibility that offend those among us who have labored in their relationship with Cabernet Sauvignon, and feel, consequently, that it is beneath them to appreciate a wine that is not preambled by a tannic attack. Merlot is notably lower in tannins and higher in sugars than Cabernet, producing luscious, well-colored wines that are capable of great richness and may be enjoyed very early in their development. Simply stated, this is a tasty wine. It is this impudence that makes Merlot dubious in the eyes of those who like to let their palates do the work and their intellect process the pleasure. Oh, for a swifter route! Recently, I had the pleasure of tasting a Merlot that wanted nothing to do with my intellect. This was the 1997 Luna Merlot from California’s Napa Valley. Winemaker John Kongsgaard (of Newton fame) sources the grapes from six different vineyards, tucked away in the hillsides of the cooler southern half of Napa Valley. Kongsgaard doesn’t believe in filtering and uses indigenous yeasts for the wine. This hands-off approach, when applied to exceptional fruit, allows all the varietal characteristics to show, resulting in an intensely flavored wine — laced with vanillin oak — with a soft and velvety texture. Don’t think about it, drink it.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.