About Red Meritage Red Wine

About Red Meritage Red Wine
Meritage (rhymes with "heritage") is a term coined in California to describe a blended wine made with Bordeaux varieties. While there could be a white Meritage, the term generally refers to a red wine, thus made with any combination of five grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.

Established in the 1980s, the concept of Meritage wines was initially greeted with a good deal of fanfare, but today, that excitement has waned. Most of the 100 plus wineries that make a Meritage-style wine are in California; many do not even use the term on the label, preferring their own fantasy name.

Meritage red wines age similarly to a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon and are best paired with red meats and game.

Top Picks for Red Meritage

Oak Farm Vineyards 2017 Genevieve Lodi
93 points
$40
Black ruby color. Aromas of plum preserves, pickling spices, candied bacon, and vanilla with a glycerous, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, subtle, long berry cobbler, pickled watermelon, and mint chocolate finish with well-integrated, firm tannins and moderate oak flavor. A brawny but well-integrated red from Lodi that is sure to compliment fine meals of beef or lamb.
Fazeli Cellars 2014 Meritage Temecula Valley
93 points
$42
Garnet color. Aromas of red cassis, cured meats, aniseed, and fine cider with a dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a complex, long leather, savory spices, and hazelnut finish. Fine balance and alluring aromas made for a stately Meritage blend; enjoy now or cellar.
Pollak Vineyards 2015 Estate Grown Meritage Monticello
92 points
$40
Brown brick red color. Aromas and flavors of baking chocolate, leather, dried pomegranate and meat, and brown butter with a bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an interesting, medium-length finish with accents of nuts, cedar, and delicate spiced beets and figs with soft tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A lovely, meaty red blend that will shine at the table.
Cape May 2017  Red Meritage
91 points
$18
Best Buy
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of ripe blackberry, wild strawberry, pine, and clay with a satiny, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a graceful, delightful, medium-long finish with suggestions of tomato leaf with light oak flavor. A bright, food-friendly Meritage blend that with elevate the meal.
91 points $18 Best Buy
Pollak Vineyards 2016 Estate Grown Meritage Monticello
91 points
$40
Dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of lime rice candy and taffy, blackberry preserves, dark chocolate mousse, and old leather bound book with a vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and an interesting, medium-long finish that shows notes of craisin, hint on braised meat and root vegetables, creamed honey, and copper and slate with chewy, fine tannins and no oak flavor. A supple and bright red blend to savor and sip.
Bordeleau NV Meritage Maryland
91 points
$22
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of stewed berries, tomatoes on the vine, cranberry jam on pumpernickel, and borscht with a vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an interesting, medium-long finish manifesting accents of almond skin, vanilla meringue, and dusty earth with fine, silky tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A distinctive and balanced combination of fruity, earthy, and savory tones with a nice sense of place.
M Cellars 2016 Meritage Reserve Grand River Valley
89 points
$50
Garnet color. Aromas and flavors of coconut layer bar, beets, au jus, and rose tea with a vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and an engaging, medium-long finish displaying touches of cranberry relish. A distinctive red from Ohio; a conversation-starting choice for steaks.
Outlander 2017 Meritage Red Blend Paso Robles
88 points
$7.49
Best Buy
Dusty deep purple color. Fruity aromas and flavors of currants, sweet potato, sage, ripe blackberry, and licorice with a supple, crisp, fruity medium body and an appealing, medium-length finish displaying notes of chocolate chips with moderate oak flavor. A sturdy and balanced red Meritage with lots of layers to discover.
88 points $7.49 Best Buy
Falkner 2015 Special Selection Meritage California
88 points
$59.95
Garnet color. Aromas and flavors of dried berries, baker’s chocolate, and hint of beeswax candle with a bright, fruity medium body and a relaxed finish conveying notes of chocolate orange peel and nuts, boysenberry tart, vanilla salt water taffy, and cedar spice cabinet with well-integrated, chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A somewhat demure yet juicy red blend that will benefit from moderate cellaring.
88 points $59.95
M Cellars 2017 Meritage Grand River Valley
86 points
$30
Garnet color. Aromas and flavors of red plum, leather, clove incense, violet candies, and roasted vegetables with a crisp, fruity medium-to-full body and an interesting, medium-length finish imparting elements of caramelized nuts. A toothsome red with lots of nuance; give this some time.