Sunday, November 20, 2016

Wine Review & Product Review: Market Vineyards Benchmark Merlot 2012 & Vinum Meum Wine Stoppers

November is Market Vineyards Month on!

Market Vineyards Benchmark Merlot 2012

The entire month of November is dedicated to Market Vineyards! To learn more about this wonderful Washington State winery, please read my article A Brief History of Market Vineyards.

We're down to the Final Four in Market Vineyards Month! What we have left is two Merlot's and two Cab's. Tonight I'm reviewing their 2012 Benchmark Merlot out of Columbia Valley. It's 100% Merlot from Gamache Vineyard.

So not only am I reviewing a wine today but a product as well. I have before me a box sent to me from Vinum Meum that contains some wine stoppers. Whatever "technology" is used is patented so they better be tight, right? I'm gonna do my best to make wine spill everywhere! Nah, just kidding. I'm gonna see if they work.

Vinum Meum Wine StoppersThe box is long and slender and covered with an avocado colored cloth material. Inside is four Bohemian Crystal glass wine stoppers, two clear and two black, surrounded by soft insulation. Nice overall package and presentation, and the wine stoppers themselves look classy and very solid.

The black tops fit 17.5 mm bottlenecks and the clear fit 18.5 mm bottlenecks. For this bottle I'll be using a black one. It fits nice in the glass bottle. No leaking on tipping or completely upside down. I even took it over the sink and gave it a little thump on its bottom when it was upside down and the stopper stayed in. So good so far. I'm going to come back to this wine tomorrow and see how it holds up!

This paragraph takes place the following day: Awesome! The wine is still fresh and lively! It's not oxidized or lost its character. I'm actually going to toss my old stoppers and make these my main ones. The real fancy stoppers never work that great anyways; only the cheap $1 latching ones do. And the cheap ones I have are just old. Also, I these ones have a nice box to keep them in.

This product gets a recommendation for sure. A set of four wine stoppers will cost $28.99 but by going to you can save 15%!

How about we get into the Benchmark now, huh? As previously stated, it's Columbia Valley AVA and 100% Merlot from Gamache Vineyards. Only 260 cases were produced and it has an ABV of 14.5%.

Spearmint cartoon
The color is a dense ruby red. At first the ethanol fumes were pretty strong, which I friggin love, but some swirling softened it up and reveals aromas of big and sticky cassis, plum and lots of spearmint. There's also aromas exotic spices and tea. In all honesty I spent a good twenty minutes smelling this wine and listening to music before I even tasted it. That is no exaggeration. Not only does it smell excellent but there's a specific fruit aroma there that is just so familiar but I just cannot pin down.

In the mouth it's medium bodied with low acid, soft tannin and an airy mouthfeel. There's a lot of plum on the palate with accessories of cassis, vanilla cola, and a spice flavor that tastes like you can only get it from some kind of root. It finishes with plum and very hot.

The amount of heat that's packed on this thing and assaulting your tongue leads me to believe that you can cellar this wine for another year and may even prefer to. It turns out that Market Vineyards even says themselves that you just might want to do that, and you can hang on to it until 2021 if you want.

Overall, it's elegant and not overstated. This delicious Merlot costs $29 retail, and Market Vineyards racks up another recommendation from me!

Price: $29
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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