Robert Mondavi Private Selection Meritage

californian wine  %tages Robert Mondavi Private Selection MeritageI can’t help but wonder how meaningful the “Meritage” name is to wine consumers.  I mean, I don’t hear many people saying, “I’d like a glass of Meritage.”  I suspect a lot of consumers don’t even know what it is.  In essence, Meritage is a name for Bordeaux-style wine that’s made everyplace additional than Bordeaux.  You’re really not supposed to call a wine a Bordeaux if it’s not made there.  So some clever folks came up for another name for it, Meritage.  It’s in fact a trademarked name, owned by the Meritage Alliance, and anyone who wants to make a Meritage wine needs to license the name.
The thought makes sense, making a common name for this type of wine.  And I delight in Bordeaux-style wines.  But I just haven’t noticed a groundswell of consumers clamoring for Meritage.  Maybe the awareness just isn’t there yet.  Or maybe I just run in the incorrect circles.
By the way, Meritage is pronounced like “heritage” with an M instead of an H.  So, don’t try to get all fancy with your French accent and call it mare-i-tahhhzh.

The nose is a pleasant on this Robert Mondavi Private Selection Meritage, albeit rather unmoving, blend of blackberry, plum, cedar and vanilla aromas.  And while those are all aromas we like in red wines, I described it as “unmoving” because it’s just not harmonious, in additional words, the right aromas are there, but there not optimally balanced.  The palate has plenty of cherry and plum flavors with moderate tannins and decent acidity.  And again, while it’s enjoyable, it’s not mind-blowingly excellent.  It finishes a bit on the tart side, with sour cherry flavors and a medium length.  This is a decent wine for the fee, but nothing extraordinary.
What’s your take?  Are you a Meritage fanatic?
Wine: Robert Mondavi Private Selection
Variety: Meritage
Vintage: 2010
Alcohol: 13.5%
Rating: 83
Fee: $11.00

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