The Bottle: My bottle was signed by Robert Maier himself. He put that silver magic marker to it when I purchased the bottle at Wally's in Westwood - for only $22 instead of the normal $34 retail. What a nice guy he was. He and his son were there, pouring their wines and signing bottles for those who were interested. There were a few short but interesting tidbits about the family history - Roy Maier was a member of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra in the Roarin' '20s, f'rinstance. A bargain, a story and an autograph! That's a pretty good deal. This Meritage is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 3% Malbec, 3% Cab Franc and 1% Petite Verdot. Only 650 cases were produced by the St. Helena Road Winery, which is the name of Mr. Maier's outfit up Sonoma County way.
The Nose: Cherries, spices and coffee greet the sniffer. It's a really wonderful smell, full of lush nuances.
The Taste: The wine had nice tannins, big and strong. Despite that, it's pretty smooth. It spent 21 months in French oak, and the influence of the wood is noticeable, but not distracting. You'll get a very full mouthfeel and a lingering finish that is quite satisfying.