A Worthy Classic: Reininger 2007 Merlot
Our third and final wine of focus is on another noble grape, this time Merlot. Merlot was traditionally grown in Bordeaux, and today is one of the world’s most widely planted varieties. We can say with great confidence, that Merlot is perfectly suited to the growing conditions of the Walla Walla Valley, just as it is to Bordeaux. Full of rich and juicy flavors, Merlot is a best seller in fine restaurants and pairs well with many foods. The 2007 Reininger Merlot is a lush and powerful wine, reminiscent of a classic Pomerol.
Although some scholars claim Merlot grapes can be traced back to the 1st century in France, references to the noble variety emerged in the 1800’s. As mentioned in the first Chardonnay post, a noble variety must be capable of producing high quality wine without blending, which tells us that Merlot produces fantastic wine on its own. However, due to its stable and hearty nature, Merlot was historically used as a key blending varietal. Originally, Bordeaux wine sales were mainly exports to Britain and Northern Europe, made accessible through Atlantic Ocean trade routes. The nature of the export trade necessitated the type of grapes cultivated, insofar as the wines needed to be hearty in order to weather the long ocean voyages and remain drinkable upon reaching their final destinations.
As previously mentioned, the terroir of the Walla Walla Valley produces some of the world’s best Merlot. We’ll tell you more about that soon, but for now, you can taste the proof for yourself and order a bottle of Reininger 2007 Merlot.