Monday, July 23, 2012

DGA Wine Club: The Patriots Merlot

Posted by Benson

The Patriots (2010) is a Merlot from the Maipo Valley in Chile.  The Maipo river, from which the valley takes its name, flows from its headwaters on the west slope of Maipo volcano in the Andes mountains down to the port of San Antonio on the Pacific.

The Maipo Valley is the most famous wine-producing region in Chile, best known for its well balanced red wines.  The Patriots is produced by Terra Andina Cellars from fruit grown on its estate in the upper region of the Maipo Valley.  

The vines are grown along the lower slopes of the Andes, more than 1,000 miles above sea level, and the mountains have a profound impact on the grapes grown there.  The rising sun must crest the Argentinian side of the peaks before it warms the vineyards in the afternoon, and cool mountain breezes slide down the mountains at night, locking in fresh flavors. 

The Wine

The Patriots is a vibrant purple-red wine with a floral aroma that contains strong, earthy undertones such as tobacco.  It is a smooth, drinkable 100% Merlot with a strong forward taste of black cherry that lingers on the palate.


We found The Patriots to be a bold wine with a flavor that stands up well to heavily spiced or smoked meats.  It pairs well with dark chocolate, rich pâté, and hummus.  The UK's What Food, What Wine awarded The Patriots with the trophy for 'Best Overall Red with Bangers and Mash.'  We heartily concur.  Although we did not pair The Patriots with bangers and mash, it has a sweetness that would complement strongly spiced sausage, and the boldness to stand up to such a rich and greasy dish.

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