Blackstone Merlot Review (2021) – Winemaker’s Select

Blackstone Merlot Winemaker's Select Featured

What Kind of Wine Is Blackstone Merlot?

Blackstone Merlot is a dry red wine from California, the heart of the American wine industry. On the nose, rich fragrances of berries dominate, alongside hints of spice and cocoa. Medium-bodied and juicy in the mouth, a bright acidity accentuates the chocolate-influenced palate. Merlot is considered one of the 5 principal grape varieties of Bordeaux and it is the most widely planted by far. As such, winemakers cultivate it around the world because it adapts to a variety of diverse climates.

Blackstone Merlot wine is produced in California, where the Mediterranean climate provides the vines with essential warmth. In turn, the vines give fruit with concentrated flavor, leading to the production of luscious wines. Successful California Merlot examples showcase aromas of red and black fruits, such as cherries, blackberries, plums, and vanilla spice, as well as creamy flavors of chocolate and mocha. Contrary to wines produced in other parts of the world, California wines preserve their pleasant fruitiness from the first sip across the last.


Blackstone Merlot Winemaker’s Select Review

  • Winery — Blackstone
  • Country/Region — United States, California
  • Type — Californian Merlot
  • Aroma — Violet, Raspberry, Blackberry, Cocoa, Vanilla, Smoke, Pepper
  • Grapes — Merlot
  • Taste — Cherry, Boysenberry, Blueberry, Plum, Prune, Strawberry, Cinnamon, Soil, Leather, Toasted Oak, Nuts, Grapefruit
  • Alcohol Content — 13.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Lamb Rack, Lamb Chili, Pork Chop, Roast Chicken, Pan-seared Salmon, Mushroom Pasta, Veal, Brie, Gorgonzola, Jarlsberg

At the end of this Blackstone Merlot Review I can only confirm that the wine is great, being one of the better California Merlots on the market. Balanced, weighty, and structured, the wine is expressive with a rounded, smooth texture and good depth. Consistent and tasty, with vibrant acidity and a lengthy, creamy finish, Blackstone Merlot is fantastic for every occasion, with its dynamic personality.

Overall Rating: 3.9

Positives
  • Attractive, Bold Appearance
  • Pronounced Aromas
  • Very Complex Palate
  • Long Aftertaste
Negatives
  • A Bit Too Sweet At Times

Tasting Notes

This Merlot is packed with aromas of red and dark berries, baking spices, cocoa, and vanilla. On the palate, the rustic wine shows fine-grained tannins and great, racy acidity. The medium-alcohol content contributes juiciness and sweetness to the plum, fig, chocolate, and coffee flavors. The aftertaste is long and creamy, concluding the tasting profile with dominance. Consequently, Blackstone Merlot is quite tasty with decent complexity.

Appearance

Deep-purple in color, Blackstone Merlot begins with a bold, attractive appearance. After a few swirls, the purple color opens into a semi-opaque center. Then, red-burgundy reflections appear on the sides, offering additional beauty. The tears of the wine are dense, providing tension and dynamism. Blackstone Merlot is definitely gorgeous, drawing wine enthusiasts in from the get-go.

Aroma

Bright fragrances of violets, raspberries, and blackberries surface on the nose as soon as the wine is uncorked. These nuances are followed by delicate touches of cocoa and vanilla, tomato leaf, and almond. Some subtle scents of smoke and pepper are discernible, too, but they are a bit weak. As such, the wine has a pronounced and quite complex aromatic profile.

Taste

In the mouth, Blackstone Merlot is delicious and weighty. Flavors of boysenberries, cherries, blueberries, and plums dominate as they join tastes of toasted oak, leather, and potting soil. Traces of strawberries and cinnamon are present, as well, and blend well with the fine-grained tannins. The smooth, rounded texture exhibits creaminess, but, fortunately, everything is balanced out by the vibrant acidity. Hands-down, therefore, Blackstone Merlot has a compelling palate.

Finish

The aftertaste is long and creamy, as previously mentioned. Notes of cherries and chocolate seem to linger, mingled with tastes of prunes, nuts, and citrus. In general, the back-palate is pleasant, with enough structure and weight to satisfy Merlot fans.

Rating

Blackstone Merlot is a fine red wine, powerful and refreshing. It is fruity and complex, stuffed with ripe flavors of berries. At the same time, the oak influence is moderate and not overwhelming. The succulent acidity gives freshness and balance. As to the tannins, they are seriously great and add to the drinking experience. Overall, Blackstone Merlot is perfect to drink with a couple of friends or savor on your own with a lazy Sunday mushroom lasagna dinner.

Blackstone Merlot Food Pairing

This Blackstone California Merlot is versatile and can pair well with a number of different foods, such as rack of lamb, mushroom pasta, pan-seared salmon, and pepperoni pizza. That said, the wine is beautiful when combined with lamb chili, roast chicken, and pork chops. In fact, you can help the wine reach its true potential by pairing it with lamb-based dishes, pâtés, and veal. For cheese pairing, Blackstone Merlot is perfect with Brie, creamy Gorgonzola, and Norwegian Jarlsberg.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Makes Blackstone Merlot?

Blackstone Merlot is produced by the Blackstone Wine Company, based in Modesto, California. From the outset, Blackstone has made harmonious wines with a supple texture, ripe fruit, and controlled, balanced oak. This Blackstone Winery Merlot carefully chooses the grapes from California vineyards in an effort to add distinctive nuances to each wine blend. In the end, Blackstone has remained true to the approach of California winemakers: Wines that accompany diverse food on any occasion, ready to celebrate the important things in life.

How Is Blackstone Merlot Made?

Once ready for harvest, the grapes are picked, sorted, destemmed, and crushed. Crushing breaks the skins of the grapes and liberates a quantity of juice. However, damaging the seeds should be avoided. Otherwise, they release bitter oils and tannin, and the wine becomes astringent and bitter. After crushing, the juice goes into stainless steel vessels to undergo alcoholic fermentation.

As the juice ferments, the temperature increases to ensure the extraction of color, flavor, and tannins from the fermented grapes. During this time, specialized winemaking techniques take place. For instance, malolactic conversion shapes the character of the wine and smoothens the tannins out to remove astringency. Wood chips may be added, too, to give a woody and toasted character to the wine. When the fermentation is over, Blackstone Merlot is filtered from sediments and bottled.

Where Is Blackstone Merlot Made?

Made with 100% percent Merlot grapes cultivated in Modesto vineyards, Blackstone is made in California. At the core of the American wine industry, California is favored for its sweet Mediterranean type climate with warming and cooling influences from the Atlantic Ocean and fog. Due to the weather conditions, it is possible to produce inexpensive and premium wine styles with concentrated flavors and moderate, refreshing acidity. And contrary to wines produced elsewhere in the world, California wines maintain their fruit-forward nature, rejecting pronounced tertiary flavors.

How to Serve Blackstone Merlot?

Serve Blackstone Merlot just like a classic red wine at standard room temperature (60°F or 15-18°C). If a medium-bodied wine such as this one becomes too cold, it will taste thick and uninspiring. And if it reaches higher temperatures than recommended, its freshness will decrease and become unnecessarily heavy with muddled flavors.

That out of the way, pour Blackstone Merlot into larger-sized wine glasses to enable the air to come into contact with the wine surface, encouraging it to release additional aromatics and tastes. Decanting Blackstone Merlot is also something to be considered. The wine will benefit from the extra aeration and may seem even more juicy and refreshing. So, give it about 10-15 minutes after uncorking before pouring it into glasses.

How Much Does Blackstone Merlot Cost?

Blackstone Merlot is not expensive. On the contrary, it has a very approachable price, considering its complexity and tastiness. Blackstone Merlot price ranges from $9 to $22 per 750ml bottle. The price difference depends on the vintage and the vendor. Consequently, wine consumers do not have to pay a premium price to bring some Blackstone Merlot bottles back home. To be frank, the wine is an opportunity at this price point, so don’t miss out on it!

How Long Does Blackstone Merlot Last?

For the most part, Merlots are fruit-forward and rarely age well. However, Blackstone Merlot is suitable for long-term storage. The wine has a decent alcohol content and enough complexity to endure maturation successfully. Pronounced scents of dried fig and tar together with flavors of cooked plum and wet leaves should develop during the aging process. Store the wine horizontally in an environment with room temperatures that do not fluctuate (50-60°F or 10-15°C) and a portion of humidity.

Direct sunlight or artificial light should be kept at bay, as they might cause irreversible damage. Intense exposure to light changes the chemical compounds of the wine, such as oxygen and temperature, and causes wine faults, meaning that the wine ages prematurely, and its aromatic and flavor profile (including color) change for the worse. Wines affected in this way are known as light-struck. Odors also have to be kept at bay, as they might find their way inside the bottle and instill unpleasant aromas and flavors, like vinegar. As such, a dark cellar is an ideal place for storing wine for maturation. Aim to let Blackstone Merlot mature for about 3-5 years. Otherwise, it will lose its freshness and give way to undesirable tertiary flavors, like deep animal sweat.

How Many Calories Does Blackstone Merlot Have?

Blackstone Merlot is definitely calorie-friendly. Blackstone Merlot calories count up to 24 in 1 fluid ounce of the wine, equating to 122 calories per glass serving. The calorie breakdown is 0 grams of fats, 0 grams of sodium, 0 grams of total carbohydrates, and 0 grams of sugars. Therefore, Blackstone Merlot is a fantastic red wine to drink on a day-to-day basis alongside your lunch or dinner, even if you are on a diet. As to the alcohol concentration, Blackstone Merlot alcohol content is 13.5% per 750 ml bottle. That is the typical amount of alcohol found in Merlots and red wines in general.

Conclusion

At the end of this Blackstone Merlot Review I can only confirm that the wine is great, being one of the better California Merlots on the market. Balanced, weighty, and structured, the wine is expressive with a rounded, smooth texture and good depth. Consistent and tasty, with vibrant acidity and a lengthy, creamy finish, Blackstone Merlot is fantastic for every occasion, with its dynamic personality.

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