Four Gates Merlot 1997
Well this week we had a quiet week, and we made a bunch of great food, so I reached for a wine that I was wondering about for a long time. But first let us review the dinner. We had a hunkering for meat so we unfroze some left over brisket. I have spoken about my brisket before, it is one of the few meals that I feel comfortable about and know has a good chance of being eaten. It is all about the need to use whole brisket and a few bottles of acidic wine. The rest is just sweet stuff to balance out the wine and you get a slow cooked heavenly soft cut of meat. On top of that we had a few ribs lying about, so we dropped them in a sauce of Jack Daniels, any barbeque sauce that is around and some wine to round it out. Marinate the ribs for a night or two and slow cook for 10 hours and now you have falling off the bone soft meat. Awesome stuff!
To match the ribs, I pulled out one of my favorite wines of all time. It was the first real bottle of wine that I got excited about. That would be the first release of the Four Gates Winery – the 1997 Four Gates Merlot. A ten years old plus bottle of wine is really fun in the world of kosher wine. But for it to be purple with not a hint of brown or orange, and for it to be kicking with fruit and body is really wild. The powerful slightly tannic wine matched the sweet and sour meats perfectly. I must say that it was quite a joy.
1997 Four Gates Merlot – Score: A
Love this bottle. The wine keeps changing over time. The nose on this dark purple to black colored wine is filled with blackberry, cassis, mint, eucalyptus, and tobacco. I was shocked at how bright the purple was on this wine. 10+ years has not hurt the color – which is amazing. The mouth on this full bodied wine has a winter coat feel. The wine is so velvety that it coats the inside of your mouth with blackberry, cassis, and soft integrated tannins. The middle of the palate has bright acidity, sage, mint, and vegetal flavors. The finish has tobacco and oak. The oak does not stand out as much as it makes its presence felt. The wine still has a bit of life left to it, but enjoy now.