Thursday, April 13, 2017

Wine Review: Llano Estacado Signature Red Meritage 2015

Llano Estacado Signature Red 2015

This is the third of five wines that I'll be reviewing for Llano Estacado out of TEXAS! Yes, TEXAS! I started with the 2016 Pinot Grigio, then 2015 Viognier, now we're on 2015 Signature Red, followed by 2015 Cellar Reserve Chardonnay and finally 2014 THP Montepulciano.

Spanish monks made Texas and New Mexico the first of the would-be-states in today's USA to grow vineyards and make their own wine in the 1620's. Llano Estacado was established in Western Texas in 1976, and has become the best selling premium winery in the state. Their current winemaker Greg Bruni took over that position in 1993.

The fruit used in this blend are from the Mont Sec and Carpenter Vineyards of Far West Texas and the Reddy and Newsom Vineyards of the Texas High Plains. It is vegan friendly and has a 13.3% ABV.

NOTE: In advance of moving to a new house and the arrival of a new baby, the reviews for March, April and May were all written in February and may be much quicker and to the point than you expect from this blog. Foolishness will return this summer.
The 2015 Signature Red is approved as a Meritage! That rhymes with "heritage" and don't you dare forget it! This means that it's been approved by the Meritage Alliance to basically be a Bordeaux wine from the United States of America. That includes the grape varieties allowed to be used, and this one uses four out of the five: 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Malbec, 22% Merlot, 14% Petite Verdot. Carmenere is left out... again.

The color of the wine is ruby red with a slight tilt in the direction of heading to brick. The first thing I get off the nose is milk chocolate and that continues to dominate, with cherries and plums and English breakfast tea dancing around behind it. It's medium bodied and much more tart and acidic than I would have expected from the nose. The tannin is pretty quiet, which I would not have guessed from a place as hot as Texas. There's flavors of tart cherries, unripened cranberries or small bush berries, chocolate and vanilla. It finishes like some Starbucks plum-vanilla-mocha concoction that you can't stop drinking.

The thing that I like about this wine the most is the tartness to the fruit and the bright acidity, making it a versatile and excellent food wine. Llano Estacado makes a great suggestion of pairing this with steak fajitas. Goddamn, that sounds absolutely perfect.

Price: $11
Rating: 4/5 = Recommended (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.


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