Bartier Bros. 2011 Merlot - 89pts

Bartier Bros. 2011 Merlot (Black Sage Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $26.90
Alcohol: 14.7%

Production: 350 cases
Date Tasted: February 4th, 2015

Tasting Notes: Impressively ripe and juicy for the 2011 vintage, especially for a Merlot under $30. It's expensive to ripen fruit in cooler years due to crop thinning; 
the practice of leaving fewer grapes on the vine to have a better chance of developing enough sugar in the berries (the measure of brix) to ferment into wine and of reaching full phenolic ripeness in the berry's seeds (counters any greenness in the tannins). The Bartier Bros. Merlot, sourced from a Black Sage Bench vineyard, managed both feats in 2011, though, not entirely on its own, as it were.

This tasty, blackberry pie-infused wine is actually a blend of 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc, the later of which, is mostly perceptible on the nose where floral notes are a welcomed addition to the otherwise, berry and wild herb bouquet. The palate is quite full and smooth, with medium tannins and a gentle roundness to its texture. The berry and herb theme continues through to the finish, though, its licorice, charred oak and spice that linger. Drink now-2017.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2015

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