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 2018 Genevieve Estate Grown Red Meritage
94 points
$40
Black garnet color. Aromas and flavors of toasted and buttered baguette with cherry preserves, herbed olives, raspberry jam, tobacco, and toasted nuts with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a seamless, nuanced, medium-long finish with moderate oak flavor. A juicy, balanced and effortlessly drinkable Red Meritage blend that satisfies.
Awards: 2021 Best Meritage
Dry Creek Vineyard 2017 The Mariner Red Meritage
93 points
$50
Black violet color. Fruity aromas and flavors of black cassis, raspberry candle, blackberry pie, and hints of mustard seed with a velvety, crisp, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long finish with notes of lemon zest and hints of dill with firm, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A svelte and juicy Meritage blend that should stand the test of time.
Fox Run 2019 Red Meritage Seneca Lake
92 points
$45
Brown brick red color. Aromas and flavors of clay, balsamic drizzled cherries and olives, smoked gherkins and nuts, and tobacco with a supple, vibrant, dryish medium body and an effortless, compelling, medium-long finish revealing accents of blackberries, cedar, dolmades, and mixed nuts with well-integrated, chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A distinctive, savory and inviting red blend with great table appeal.
Monte De Oro 2017 Simplexity Red Blend Temecula Valley
92 points
$43
Dark garnet color. Aromas and flavors of sun dried tomato, dill, green tea, pomegranate, vanilla, and brandied cherry with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, elegant, long finish that shows notes of cola and sarsaparilla with light oak flavor. A juicy, savory Red Blend that will be a hit at the table.
Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2018 Meritage Reserve Red Meritage
91 points
$24
Black ruby color. Aromas and flavors of gherkins, blackberry, tomato leaf, and pickled dill with a satiny, vibrant, dryish medium body and a smooth, appealing, medium-long finish with suggestions of cherry chutney, hints of cacao nib, and sage with moderate oak flavor. A rush of fruity acidity follows a savory and oaky nose; a lovely wine for food pairings.
Reynolds Family Winery 2018 Persistence Red Blend Red Meritage
91 points
$62
Black garnet color. Inviting aromas of raisin bread pudding and halvah with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, medium-long chocolate babka, honey, and Jordan almonds finish with moderate oak flavor. A delicious and instantly appealing Red Meritage blend with pastry-like oak.
Estancia 2017 Reserve Meritage Red Blend Paso Robles
91 points
$26
Black violet color. Aromas of juicy plum, black cassis confiture, licorice, and hazelnut with a slightly chewy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a seamless, elegant, long fine tea and pickled pomegranate arils finish with moderate oak flavor. A bold and chewy Meritage blend with mouthwatering acidity that will elevate steak.
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
Outlander 2019 Meritage Paso Robles
89 points
$7.99
Best Buy
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of ripe strawberries, plum butter, capers, chocolate mouse, and balsamic reduction with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, delightful, medium-long finish that shows accents of cedar, black tea, and tonka bean with moderate oak flavor. Chocolatey oak entices the California Red drinker to this dynamic Meritage from Paso.
89 points $7.99 Best Buy
Coda Rossa 2018 Meritage Red Meritage
88 points
$18
Dusty ruby black color. Aromas of red bell pepper, cassis pie, leather, tobacco, coconut, dill, and nutmeg with a slightly chewy, crisp, dryish medium-to-full body and an interesting, medium-long grilled plum and toast finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A solid Meritage blend with firm structure suited to steaks.