In today’s era of consumer sought instant gratification, it seems wineries are crafting Cabernets with ever increasing levels of glycerin, extract, ripeness, and alcohol in a bid to attain the ever elusive gargantuan score that will propel them to the heights of notoriety.  As the scores go up, so goes the price. Exponentially! These are the kind of wines I’d implore my readers to ignore.
An unfortunate by product of this mentality is that wineries who have consistently produced excellent wine at reasonable prices, get largely ignored by the wine press and therefore are overlooked by consumers who feel the need to chase wines with higher scores.  That’s their misfortune, but not yours.  
As I’ve written before, this post today reviews a wine that I can heartily recommend from any of the recent vintages you may run across at your local wine shop:  2006 through 2009.  Dry Creek Vineyard has been a stalwart in Sonoma since Dave Stare founded the winery in 1972.  Now under the helm of his daughter Kim, the winery continues to evolve while maintaining quality at every level.  In wine, consistency should not be equated with boring.  Consistency should be sought after and embraced.  Yes, slight variations in vintage are unavoidable given the vagaries of weather, but talent and passion make up for that and the folks at Dry Creek have both.
The 2009 Dry Creek Meritage is the latest release of this classic Dry Creek Valley wine.  This traditional blend of the five Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec is yet another excellent example of the Dry Creek style.  It’s a gorgeous dark purple in the glass, with violet reflections out at the rim. The hallmark nose of the wine shines with classic Dry Creek Valley terroir:  dusty tannins, minerals, crushed berries,  mint and flowers captivate. How does one sip this wine when all you want to do is smell it?  But taste you must….In the mouth, the wine is full bodied, with lovely layers of crushed wild blackberry, that are juicy, lively and persistent on the palate. Spice, ripe dusty tannins, mineral notes and flowers add wonderful complexity.  It’s balanced and elegant – and the elegance cannot be understated, because it’s a hallmark of the Dry Creek wines that I believe resonates with lovers of Old World wines. You can easily sip this wine alone,  but like Italian wines, it excels at the table.  Drink now or cellar with ease for 5-7 years. 93 points – and at about $18, buy it by the case.
Consistency is quality and the quality here, is consistent. 

The 2009 Dry Creek Vineyard Meritage

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