Whitehall Lane Merlot
Merlot is the great equalizer between neophyte and oenophile. This stands to reason because many Merlot blends are such approachable yet powerful wines. Their broad appeal makes them perfect for entertaining. My pick is the silky smooth Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Merlot. Merlot grapes often lose their way from vine to bottle, but Whitehall Lane has developed the key to a superior house style. For the past 20 years this family-owned and -operated winery has produced rich red blends to critical acclaim. With sophisticated tastes of deep dark blackberry and black cherry thundering to the front, the winemaker artfully blends Merlot grapes with a bit of Syrah for the bouquet of violets and a spike of Cabernet Sauvignon for the heft. This bacchanalian blend is sturdy enough for steaks yet smooth enough for solitary sipping. Find it at Matherne's for $27. Or decant a bottle at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, where Whitehall Lane Merlot is featured BTG, pairing perfectly with the prime steaks to please even the corporate bulldog crowd.
|Scott Reis is a venture capitalist whose prior investments include Churchill's Cigar and Wine Bar as well as Grand Cru Market and Wine Cellar. E-mail Scott at [email protected].|
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