Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top Red Blends Under $20

5. Lock & Key Meritage (2009)

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Average price: $16.99 from 4 stores
Fairly complex on the nose with macerated herb notes embedded in sweet cherry fruit all wrapped up in tree bark, old wood and medicinal notes. Fairly nice on entry, this exhibits a nice balance between the structural component and richness of fruit and manages that richness without becoming sticky or heavy, or even overly fruity for that matter. There's a nice wash of lightly brambly fruit on entry, then balanced notes of currants, black cherry, vanilla and nutty oak compete for attention. The finish is much the same if perhaps a bit sweeter with that sweetness balanced by some bitterness from the wood tannins. Not showy, this is modestly complex and feels fresh and clean on the palate. The hint of bitterness on the finish is attractive to me, though it may be off-putting to some. 87pts
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