A Marriage Made In Heaven
By Robert Stephen
(HARROW, ON) – CREW has produced an intriguing Meritage. What in God’s name is a Meritage? It sounds frightening. Like some advertising agency trying to market some swill in a huge straw encased wine bottle? Let’s investigate further.
According to the VQA website Meritgae is a generic term used to describe the popular red wine combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. In the United States Meritage is a trade-marked name for a group of California producers who have banded together as the Meritage Producers Association. Not getting into too many details here but Meritage is a replication of the great French Bordeaux red wine blends. Unfortunately the bottle does not indicate the blend but the website does stating (without percentages) that the Meritage is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
So is CREW getting uppity and selling LENS wines to compete with legendary red French Bordeaux wines which retail, at the lower end, at the same price CREW is charging? Sorry, here I go comparing again which is unfair and ignoring the unique terroir of LENS. So far the terroir of LENS, as red wines go, points to some sourness which is a bit difficult to handle considering the fruit forward wines out there from both the New and Old World. In this case CREW has scored a winner with a LENS specific red; winning points by transcending sourness and moving towards a structured tartness. This wine seems to establish that Ontario sourness can be managed to create a LENS signature wine.
This wine has a nice plummy red colour. A decadent nose of ultra ripe red grapes, but not a queasy or stewed sweet character, instead it possesses some pleasant LENS dust on the inner core. Close your eyes and sniff and imagine dust settling on the vines and being sucked down into the very grape! Lovely milk, choco, and ripe cherry aromas. Is this a Valpolicella Ripasso? Hold on as we down a gulp and look out as some big sour cherries cling to the palate for dear life and won’t say good-bye for a minute or so. The finish is medium. Not a sipper but best with food. Take some flank steak, sprinkle generously with soy sauce and fresh chopped ginger. Marinate overnight grill and let this Meritage flow. The description of this wine in the CREW website is entirely too modest.
I can assume local restaurants in Windsor might order this if they are serving pizza due to its somewhat Italian similarity to Valpolicella. Move over cheap pizza red wine, CREW 2007 Meritage has arrived!CREW Meritage 2007 VQA Lake Erie North Shore 750 ml 13.4% alcohol $20.00 300 cases produced 240 cases remaining Score 93/100
Coming Soon: Are LENS website’s world- or bush-league class?
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