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Jackson Triggs Grand Reserve Meritage 2013


Jackson Triggs Grand Reserve Meritage 2013


A Meritage - often mispronounced as rhyming with the word "garage", actually rhymes with "heritage". It's actually an American word, not a French wine word. As with Champagne, or Burgundy, you can only call a wine that if it is in fact, from the Burgundy or Champagne in France and it must follow strict guidelines to be named by the appellation (growing area). In the 80's, California winemakers grew frustrated that they couldn't call their traditional Bordeaux blends, "Bordeaux" being that these were California grapes and because they needed a minimum of 75% of the main grape varietal to label it varietally, they couldn't call it a Cabernet Sauvignon either. So they created a contest to name these blends with Meritage (a combination of "merit" and "heritage").


So, now we know what a Meritage is, we can start to talk about this particular blend. It's Merlot predominant with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot, all classic noble varietals. I was gifted a couple of cases of this wine when I finished my contract with Constellation Brands, the parent company of Jackson Triggs. We've cellared (basemented) the bottles and have enjoyed them over the past couple of years. I feel it's drinking especially well right now.


The full bodied blend pours a beautiful ruby red and is hinting towards a garnet colour now that it has a few years on it. The fruit on the nose holds strong with dark raspberry, black cherry and red currants and the cedar, cocoa and coffee aromas are becoming more pronounced. The mouthfeel has become quite velvety with the strong tannins having softened a great deal. The same fruit follows on the palate with medium minus acidity and dark coffee and vanilla on the finish.


We have a Bolognese and red wine tradition after we go cut down our Christmas tree and while this year we weren't able to cut one down ourselves, we still dished up some Rigatoni Bolognese and enjoyed this wine with it. It was a nice combination but a wine like this would hold up even better to a rack of lamb or even coffee rubbed flank steak fajitas.


Note: Great Estates Okanagan is currently selling the 2017 vintage.

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