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VOL. 125 | NO. 40 | Monday, March 01, 2010



Red, White And Yum All Over

FREDRIC KOEPPEL | Special to The Memphis News

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I didn’t mean to set a precedent a few weeks ago when I recommended two wines in the same column, but I’m going to do so again.

They are the Waterbrook Mélange Blanc 2007 and Mélange Noir 2007 from Washington state’s Columbia Valley.

Yes, the first is a white and the second is red.

The white is a blend of – ready? – 30 percent Riesling, 20 percent gewürztraminer, 15 percent viognier, 10 percent each sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot gris and 5 percent muscat. The wine “sees,” as we say, very little oak, so the emphasis is on immediate freshness, crisp acidity and frank appeal.

The exotic combination of grapes lends the bouquet considerable flower power while fruit falls in the peach, pear and roasted lemon range. Waterbrook Mélange Blanc ’07 is very dry, lustrous with limestone minerality and altogether like drinking a dusty summer meadow.

Mélange Noir 2007 is composed of 40 percent merlot, 31 percent cabernet sauvignon, 15 percent sangiovese, 13 percent cabernet franc and – get this! – “1 percent various varieties.” That kills me! I mean, what the heck are they and what are they doing there?

The wine is dark, deeply spicy, fraught with black currant, black cherry and plum flavors with classic touches of smoke and cedar and dried herbs, all bound by polished oak and dense chewy tannins that give the wine depth and dimension.

For more about wine, check out Koeppel's blog at http://www.biggerthanyourhead.net.

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