Which side of the Dordogne River do you sit? Left Bank or Right Bank? I ask this as I was presented with two bottles of Meritage; one from Time Estate and the other from McWatters Collection. Both BC wines from the Okanagan Valley, and both Bordeaux blends, (but blends represented by styles from different sides of the Dordogne River).
What is MyWinePal Talking About? Dordogne River?
For those that are not familiar with the geography of Bordeaux, the Dordogne River separates the Left Bank from the Right Bank Bordeaux vineyards. The Left Bank, produces blends with Cabernet Sauvignon as the main variety, while the RIght Bank produces blends with Merlot as the main variety. Many people prefer the more tannic structure of the Left Bank red blends, from the higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, but the Right Bank wines are smoother and lighter in style due to the Merlot, but may command a higher price (ever heard of Château Pétrus?) than Left Bank Bordeaux.
Let’s see what how these two wines presented themselves in the glass.
My Tasting Notes
Time Estate Meritage 2012 ($29.99) – A blend of 60% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 11% Cabernet Franc. Upon first opening it has a really inviting nose, with aromas of juicy cassis, red berries, vanilla, sweet spice, smoke and some meatiness, which I really like. I don’t recommend decanting this wine at all as you lose some of the vanilla, smoke and meat aromas. The wine is dry with medium body/acidity/tannins/alcohol. It has quite a smooth mouth feel and persistent flavours of cassis and ripe red cherries whether you drink it upon opening or after decanting. From first sip, you get the cassis and ripe red cherries I mentioned, but there is also red currants, and hints of violets and milk chocolate. With decanting the floweriness and chocolate go away. On the finish you get red cherries, black fruit and vanilla, supported by medium plus tannins and mouthwatering acidity. A really elegant wine.
Rating: A wine to drink as soon as you open, it is full of juicy cassis, cherries and red berry fruit, and interesting hints of smoke and meatiness on the nose; violets and milk chocolate on the palate.
McWatters Collection Meritage 2012 ($24.99) – A blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 12% Cabernet Franc. Restrained light cassis, meaty sausage, red fruit, cedar and nutmeg/cinnamon spices on the nose. With 4hrs of decanting, the wine had quite a smoky aroma. On the palate, the wine is dry with medium tannins and acidity. It has a fuller mouth feel and very silky. Juicy black and purple fruits, with a hint of perfume, chocolate and cedar flavours. Very light vanilla touch. After decanting, the perfume and cedar notes were gone on the palate and black currant leaf became more pronounced. Firmer tannins on the finish. I must say that everything in the wine was very integrated with fruit, acid, tannins, and oak.
Rating: Another wine to drink as soon as you open it to get all the subtle flavours and aromas in this wine that dissapate with decanting. Very silky mouthfeel with juicy black and purple fruit flavours, and hints of perfume, cedar, and chocolate to keep you contemplating each sip.
I think both wines can be enjoyed now, or can be cellared for another 5-6 years.