Winery Whitehall Lane says Merlot is Back

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Merlot is making a comeback, says Tom Leonardini II, second generation owner of the family run Whitehall Lane Winery & Vineyards.

And I got the full scoop on that theory during a recent visit to Gary’s Wine & Marketplace in Wayne, NJ so listen to our podcast here.

But the bottom line: Merlot never really left.

  • It has always been one of the top the top three planted grapes in the world, right after Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
  • There would be no French Bordeaux without Merlot.
  • And in Italy now, its one of the most planted varietals and is a key component in some of those fabulous Super Tuscan blends.

Oh and can you say Masseto? (We did about 10 times in this podcast so listen.)

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Whitehall Lane makes a bunch of great wines, including some powerful Cabernets but here’s what we tasted:

  • Sauvignon Blanc 2014, under $19
  • Merlot 2012, under $25
  • Tre Leoni 2012, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot, also under $25

(Family Factoid: “Tre Leoni” translates to “three lions,” representing the three generations of the Leonardinis who were involved in this wine. Roar.)

And if you need more Merlot convincing, listen to this podcast. I did with my dear friend and Master of Wine Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan a while back. She gave me the scoop, poured a bunch of awesome Merlots and convinced me that I should be drinking more of it.

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Cent’Anni

And you know I would love to hear your thoughts on this, the wines you are drinking or anything else…so send a quick note!  Thanks!