Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

St. Julian Wine Co. 2005 ST. J Merlot  (Lake Michigan Shore)

St. Julian Wine Co.

2005 ST. J Merlot
(Lake Michigan Shore)

St. Julian Winery uses St. J as a brand tier, and purchases grapes for it from about 100 growers in southwest Michigan, within a 45-mile radius of the town of Paw Paw, where the winery is located, and within the Lake Michigan Shore AVA.

Merlot is one of the more adaptive-to-place reds and exhibits a lot of regional characteristics. When it's produced with restrained oak as this version was, Lake Michigan Shore AVA fruit shines as cherry, red berries and red plums with just a hint of vanilla from the French oak in a blend with some American oak. Medium body and weight are sensed by the wine's brick-red color. Flavors mirror aromas with added spice cabinet nuances.

Vintage 2005 gave Michigan producers a long and warm growing season, ensuring ripeness of red varieties such as Merlot. Thus, there's no sense of green bean or bell pepper characters in this offering with a high quality to price ratio. It's a good match with foods such as pasta with a spicy tomato sauce, pork, veal, roast chicken or pizza with gourmet toppings.

Reviewed October 24, 2007 by Eleanor & Ray Heald.

The Wine

Winery: St. Julian Wine Co.
Vintage: 2005
Wine: ST. J Merlot
Appellation: Lake Michigan Shore
Grape: Merlot
Price: 750ml $10.00

Review Date: 10/24/2007

The Reviewer

Eleanor & Ray Heald

The Healds have been writing about wine since 1978 and have focused on appellation significance in many of their world beat writings. They value recognizing site personality (terroir) within an appellation's wines. They praise balance and elegance in wines styled to pair well with food and eschew over-extraction, high alcohol and heavy-handed oak. “Delicious” is their favorite descriptor for a great, well-made wine.