Happy Sunday! I admit that I was planning on grilling out this evening, but unbeknownst to the weather forecasters in my area, we are apparently having a big snowstorm today...well maybe storm is too strong, but it's pretty much been snowing for the past 7 hours with no signs of stopping! They say it should only be 2-4" but I have my doubts, so why not open a bottle of wine? Tonight I've opened a bottle I bought yesterday at Costco, the 2011 Milbrandt Vineyards "The Estates" Merlot, a blend of Merlot (75%), Syrah (13%), Cabernet Sauvignon (7%), Malbec (3%) and Petit Verdot (2%) from Wahluke Slope in the Columbia Valley of Washington. So you know how I love me some Merlot, let's see how this one stacks up!
The wine is a deep ruby color, classic for Merlot. The nose is chock full of leather, dark chocolate, blackberry and a hint of mint, just the classic aroma of a nice Merlot. The taste is wonderful, with a rush of ripe black fruit, cherry, plum and blueberry that transitions to some wonderful notes of vanilla and mocha midpalate. The tannins are nicely structured giving rise to the wonderfully chewy, long dry finish that just dares you to take another sip.
I'm a big fan of Merlot, and this one really impressed me for the quality and the value, so I'd easily rate it a solid 9. And I found this at my local Costco for just $17! This would be a great steak wine, which is great since although it's too cold and snowy to grill out, I have my Lodge cast iron grill pan! So tonight I'm enjoying this wine with a rare grilled prime sirloin steak, with some Brussels sprouts sauteed in olive oil with leeks and a baked potato with all the trimmings. Cheers!