Atwater Estate Vineyard's Meritage is a hearty blend of three classic red Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Franc 46%, Merlot 38% and Cabernet Sauvignon 16%.
Ripened on the eastern slope of Seneca Lake, this marriage of grapes is Atwater's standard-bearer. This vintage weaves together flavors of black cherry, plum and cassis. Savor this Meritage as a stand-alone red or pair with filet mignon and gorgonzola or other hearty fare.
Atwater Estate Vineyard's Meritage is licensed with the Meritage Association. Wine labels including the term "Meritage" are handcrafted, red or white American wines blended uniquely from the "noble" Bordeaux grape varieties. To obtain a license to use the Meritage name, the wine must be a blend of at least two of the traditional red or white Bordeaux grape varietals. No single variety can make up more than 90% of the blend.
Most American wines are varietal wines, named after the grape variety that comprises at least 75% of that wine. Many winemakers, however, believe the 75% varietal requirement does not always result in the highest quality wine. And the government's generic name for wines with less than 75% of a grape varietal, "table wine", does not convey quality.
In 1988, a group of American vintners, who named themselves the Meritage Association, established "Meritage" as a new wine category. Neither French nor English, Meritage is an invented word that combines "merit" and "heritage", and rhymes with the latter.
The mission of the Meritage Association was to create a new wine category that would help wine consumers identify wines that represent the highest form of the winemaker's art, blending, and to distinguish these wines from so-called "table wines". For more information please visit www.meritagewine.org