Rutherford Hill’s 2012 Merlot could honestly be either a Daily Drinker or a Special Sipper. Since it’s completely affordable but has that essence “de” fancy — I say stock up and enjoy for any occasion, big or small.

About the Wine: The interesting thing about this Merlot is that it’s actually a blend. The winemakers chose to include 20% cabernet sauvignon, as well as a bit of cabernet franc, syrah, and petit verdot to “add complexity.” 13% alcohol by volume.

Flavor Profile: The result of this interestingly blended Merlot is, what I would call, a thick Bordeax-like wine. What I enjoy about a good Bordeaux is that there’s all these subtle, little flavors that somehow seem to meld together perfectly. Turn up the volume, amplify those tastes: the complexity of flavors, which include concentrated red fruits (think black cherries and plums) and dried fruits (think currants) hit you from the first sniff to the first sip. Yet there’s an over-arcing essence of cedar and an almost crispy acidity that rounds that big blast out and creates a calming on the tongue.

Personally I would say the tannins medium the acidity is medium. The tannins are certainly tangible, but the acidity helps keep all intensity in check.

Food Pairing: Rutherford Hill’s 2012 Merlot would pair fantastically with smoked duck, fillet mignon off the grill, and even a crispy skin salmon. You want something with substance and smoke to truly savor those bold flavors within the wine.

More Info: Learn more about the family owned Rutherford Hill and purchase wines directly from their website. I purchased this particular bottle at BevMo (Priced: $19.99).

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