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2012 Genesis Meritage 

Columbia Valley, Washington

Retail $11-$13

Meritage is the American term for a Bordeaux-style blend using two or more Bordeaux varietals, which offer complexity, hearty structure and aging potential. This Hogue Cellars Meritage is 39 percent merlot, 32 percent cabernet sauvignon, 24 percent malbec and 5 percent petit verdot. The vineyards are subject to a range of geographical and climatic conditions, and soils produce fruit with intense flavors and naturally high acidity. Sandy, loam soils provide good drainage for the vineyards. Following harvest, grapes were destemmed, crushed and fermented in stainless steel tanks. After primary and malolactic fermentation, the wine was racked to barrels to mature for 12 months, and a quarter of it aged in new American oak before final blending. In the glass, it exudes aromas of red and black cherries, plum and spice. On the palate, taste cassis, blackberry, earthy notes and vanilla. Drink it with prime rib, rare steak, grilled pork loin and lamb chops. Buy it at: Brady's Wine Warehouse, Langenstein's in Metairie and River Ridge and Acquistapace's Covington Supermarket. Drink it at: Omni Royal Orleans and Hilton New Orleans Riverfront hotels.

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