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Norm’s Tasting Notes: 2018 Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Merlot

By Norm Bentley - | Sep 10, 2021

Norm Bentley, The North Georgia Wine Advisor. PHOTO PROVIDED

The North Georgia Wine Advisor



2018 Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Merlot


Over the years the popularity of wine varietals has, like most things, gone through a number of changes. I like most wines, but Cabernet Sauvignon has always been my favorite. It was the most popular red in the seventies, but the crown was passed to Merlot during the eighties, and by the late nineties it had become Pinot Noir. In today’s market place Cab is number one, and even out sells Chardonnay. It has become so prominent that is often hard to find a good selection of Merlots at your local retailer. So in my search for a good Merlot I came across an old friend, which I last wrote about seven years ago.

The Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot from their Indian Wells vineyard, was rated by me as a 90, seven years ago, and I score the 2018 vintages the same today. This is a lush, full bodied Merlot with gobs of fruit, and a lasting finish. The flavors are blackberry, cherry, and plum, with a trace of cocoa, leading to a satisfying, and lingering finish. The alcohol content is 14.5%, and Norm’s score is 90.

A bottle of Indian Wells Merlot is great with any grilled meat, and would be superb with Rack of Lamb! I suggest that you don’t restrict yourself to one type of grape when there are so many good choices out there, and even more when you consider the array of blended red wines.

Score: 90

Price: $17-$21