Monday, July 29, 2013

Messina Hof Merlot Private Reserve Double Barrel 2011

If you missed the Now And Zin article on Messina Hof Winery and their Riesling, see it here.

As the story is told on their website, Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo studied winemaking in Bordeaux for a while.  They patterned this release after the wines they tasted during their afternoon "research sessions" at wineries in St. Emilion.

Aged for 18 months- first in French oak, then American - the Messina Hof Merlot Private Reserve Double Barrel 2011 retails for $22 and carries a 13% abv number.  It's a 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon blend from grapes grown in their Fredricksburg and Lubbock vineyards.

Rich, deep color leads to a nose of cherries and pretty oak spice.  The oak shows on the palate, too.  It abets some very nice fruit flavors - red currant and cherry, mainly.  There's a touch of graphite showing through, thanks to the Cab.  While the use of wood isn't exactly sparing, it is not overdone, either.  A nice, even hand was used in this wine's oak treatment.

This Bordeaux blend surprises me in that I expected a Texas wine - especially one with the phrase "double barrel" in its name - to be a little bit rowdy, and a little boisterous, and a little rambunctious.  This is not the case.  This wine is no high plains rancher - it's extremely smooth and elegant.  Maybe it's really from Dallas.

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