Vineyard Shot


Accolades for Merlot

Full Pull says "don't miss out" on 2010 Merlot

"...appetizing...gets the pots bubbling & the mouth watering...far from your fat-&-fruity, dullard Merlot..."

Paul Zitarelli,, November 1 2013

Hello friends. Happy November. This is the time of year when the reviews come fast & furious, & when all my carefully plotted calendar plans are torn asunder. Each of today’s wines was originally slotted for later 2013 or early 2014, but each has an about-to-be-published review that is going to exert extra sales pressure. Let’s not take a chance on missing out:

2010 Forgeron Merlot - $29.99 (TPU $26.99)

This review is set to appear in the November issue: Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “An A+ trio of vineyards—Olsen, Stonetree & Boushey—contribute equally to this pure Merlot. In a Forgeron portfolio that regularly shines with a variety of red wines, Merlot is usually the best of show, as it is here. Tight, tart & perfectly proportioned, this at first offers scents & accents of sweet tomato paste & a whiff of oregano, then opens further with lush cherry flavors & a dash of dried tobacco. Merlot & pasta? Why not? Editor’s Choice. 93pts.

I agree with PaulG. Despite Marie-Eve Gilla’s Burgundian roots, she has a real knack for the very Bordelaise Merlot grape, consistently crafting one of Washington’s most successful bottlings. It starts, as it always does, with careful vineyard sourcing. Here it’s about 1/3 warm-climate (Stonetree, getting sun-blasted on the Wahluke Slope), & 2/3 cool-climate (Olsen & Boushey in cooler parts of the Yakima Valley). The balance is just right, with Stonetree adding plush cherry notes, plump texture, & a perfect mid-palate, & the Olsen/Boushey combo adding wonderful complex savories. PaulG calls it tomato paste & dried tobacco. My notes focus more on black olive & bay leaf. It matters not, because the basic point is the same: this is far from your fat-&-fruity, dullard Merlot.

PaulG’s note recommends a pasta pairing. Marie-Eve’s own note says to “try our 2010 Merlot with grilled veal chops or braised short ribs for the ultimate experience.” I think it’s pretty safe to say that this is an appetizing wine, one that gets the pots bubbling & the mouth watering. Now if you are going to braise short ribs (November officially kicks off short rib braising season, doesn’t it?), my 2 favorite recipes are Daniel Boulud’s Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine & Molly Stevens’ Short Ribs Braised in Porter Ale. If you’re going with the Boulud recipe, maybe save the Forgeron Merlot for the table & use something cheaper (Mouchao? Lou Ven Tou?) in the braising pot. And definitely make the Celery Root Puree on the side, a dish that will doubtless shorten the length of, & improve the quality of, the lives of all who partake.

Paul Zitarelli,, November 1 2013