Merlot or Cuvee? Merlot or Cuvee?

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample because I am a member of WineQ’s Beta Club.

The wine for the evening was a 2004 Deerfield Ranch Merlot Cuvee. It’s a blend of 75% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Sangiovese, 5% Malbec, and 3% Cabernet Franc. Being 75% Merlot, the wine qualifies to be labeled as a single varietal Merlot, however, Deerfield has chosen to call it a Cuvee instead. I admit to being confused, but upon reading the label, the winery says it wanted to emphasize the blended nature of the wine rather than it being just a regular old Merlot. The wine had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.2% alcohol, and is available for $26.49 from WineQ.

On the nose I found chocolate, anise, plum, spice, oak, flowers, and red berries. A very nice and captivating nose. In the mouth I got flavors of plums, berries, milk chocolate, anise, and strawberry. Overall the wine was smooth and rounded with a full mouthfeel.

I served the wine with grilled cheeseburgers admist the tomato plant forest in our backyard. We’ve been taking advantage of the gorgeous weather we’ve been having and eating outside these last few days. The wine was very food friendly with nice acid and a good backbone. It went really well with our hamburgers and baked potatoes.