WHITE MERLOT - Printable Version

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- Jerry D Mead - 11-27-1999

//Excerpted from the latest edition of Mead On Wine//

Just call me the "Wine Prophet." More than two years ago I predicted you would be seeing White Merlots coming on the market to challenge White Zinfandel. How did I know? Because of the popularity of traditional red Merlot, it was pretty obvious that growers from one end of California to the other were overplanting Merlot grapes. And whenever there's a surplus of a particular grape variety, two things happen: prices fall and vintners start looking for other ways to use the grape.
Making red Merlot grapes into white-style wine was simply the most logical thing to be done, so my prediction was almost a guaranteed winner. The way it works (same for White Zin) is that the juice of red grapes is white. So if the winemaker removes the skins from the juice immediately only a little pink or bronze color is picked up. Then the winemaker use techniques designed to preserve fresh fruity flavors like those found in white wines, and now you have White Merlot.
They're coming in from France and Italy and there are several available from California...and there will be more. So check out this hot new wine before it becomes a fad.
Hacienda 1998 "California" White Merlot (about $6) A totally delicious, fun, refreshment wine. Super fruity with nuances of fresh strawberry and cherry. Winemaker Ed Moody did a bit of secret blending of a couple of other grapes to heighten the fruit even more. It has considerable sweetness (2 1/2 percent residual sugar) but it is balanced by lively, tangy acidity to make it drink clean and refreshing. Mostly drink it all by itself, but it will be nice with fresh fruit, a cold ham luncheon or (trust me) shrimp in red cocktail sauce with horseradish. This one will win medals! Rating: 90/90

- Bucko - 11-29-1999

So many people turn up their noses at the rose wines without ever tasting them. Many are very tasty.