We’re going dark and fruity this time for Wine Wednesday with the Dark Horse Merlot. Dark Horse are a fairly new brand to me but they’re one that has quickly become a go-to of mine as well. I tried their rosé a few months back when it had a discount on in Tesco (and will most likely be reviewing that in this series at some point). I’d been eyeing up the bottle for a few weeks before but hadn’t bothered to pick it up. When I spotted it had a discount on that week it was just the push I needed to give it a try (I mean who can resist £2 off a bottle of wine?) and absolutely loved it.
Anyway, after picking up a bottle or two of the rosé over the weeks after that, I decided that it was about time I gave another of their wines a try. Which is how I ended up opting for their merlot.
Dark Horse: A Bit About The Brand
Based in California, Dark Horse was pioneered by female winemaker Beth Liston who brought her passion and creativity to the winemaking process. As a brand Dark Horse pride themselves on their commitment to bringing together both traditional winemaking methods and techniques alongside the use of cutting edge technology. And it’s this combination that has led Dark Horse to create award-winning Californian wines and develop such an amazing reputation as a company.
Dark Horse Merlot: How The Merlot Was Made
When it came to making this specific merlot, Beth went against what is thought of as the more conventional methods of making merlot. She actually harvests the grapes EARLY for this wine. Then using their traditional yet technological wine-making methods they managed to create their merlot. This technique is what gives Dark Horse’s Merlot its unique flavour (which I’ll go into in a sec).
Tasting The Merlot: My Thoughts
So, what does it taste like? Well I have to say it’s completely different to most merlot’s that I know and love. BUT that just adds to its deliciousness. I’d describe it as full-bodied, fruity, yet with a warm spice too.
Tasting The Merlot: What Do Dark Horse Say?
We know my initial thoughts but what do Dark Horse say that you should be getting from their merlot? The words that they use to describe the wine are:
ROBUST | DARK | JAMMY
Yep, this definitely translates through for me. I think it’s interesting that they say it’s ‘jammy’. That’s a word that I’ve never used to describe a wine before (but I definitely will be in the future!). The ‘jammy’ flavour is probably what I’d usually refer to as fruity. But I guess fruity is a pretty vague term when it comes to wine, as surely every wine has some fruitiness to it. Anyway, this one is fruity but with a LOT of flavour. It’s actually almost rich in flavour. And I absolutely love it.
Dark Horse also describe it as having a ‘toasted oak’ and ‘warm spice’ flavour. Tick! Hey I’m doing pretty well at picking out the flavours for this one aren’t I? Although I wasn’t quite as specific when it came to picking out the ‘toasted oak’ flavours I did definitely get that coming through in the overall ‘warm spice’ flavour. In terms of food pairing, Dark Horse recommend pairing their merlot with slow roasted beef brisket, saucy vegetable lasagne or even alongside something with a bit of spice. But of course it is just as fabulous as a standalone drink!
Overall it’s a really great red for anyone who goes for a more full-bodied wine. I can see it being a staple of mine over the coming months as it starts to get much colder. There’s nothing better than a warming glass of red around this year, which I’m sure you’ll agree with! If you want to pick up a bottle of the Dark Horse Merlot then you can find it at various supermarkets including TESCO, Sainsbury’s and ASDA.
Have you tried any of the Dark Horse wines before? What did you think of them? Are you a fan of a merlot? Let me know in the comments.
Liked this? Then you’ll LOVE this one: Freixenet Italian Rosé Wine: Wine Wednesday. For exclusive foodie content sign up to my mailing list below.