Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pollak Vineyards 2007 Merlot - Fantastic!


The first bottle of Pollak Vineyards I ever had was when I visited Virginia to Charlottesville, to visit Richard Leahy. I stopped off one night before we met, and went to a wine bar, that featured a few Virginia wines by the glass. Feeling somewhat giddy, I ordered two glasses. One of the wines I ordered was a Pollak Merlot 2008.

Pollak Vineyards is a small family-owned winery founded in 2003 with the purchase of a 98-acre farm just west of Charlottesville, Virginia. Today they have 26 acres of French vinifera planted with the intent of making estate grown wine that has the finesse and balance of the traditional French varietals. Margo and David Pollack opened their doors to the public in 2008. Their wines have been an immediate success with critics and consumers.

So recently, I attended a blind tasting. The idea was to bring a varietal wine. We were supposed to be able to identify a grape and country or region. It was for fun. Of course, I took an east coast wine. I brought a bottle of Pollak Merlot 2007. Their 2007 was one of their best wines.

We rightly identified an Italian Pinot Grigio and a were fooled by an Italian Tocai Fruliano. And then up was a medium bodied red. The reactions were interesting. The first comments were that they didn't care what it was - they just wanted to drink more.

They were convinced it was a California wine, but maybe Santa Barbara Then it was off to sunny Italy. Was it a Barolo? And then more comments what a wonderful wine it was. Was it Chile?  They were convinced it was a warm weather wine. The fruit was too big, too deep. The wine was so complex, so balanced.

Of course, they were stumped. But Pollak is like that. I remember the first time I tasted and was absolutely astounded. And this wine did it again. Impressive.

Pollak makes awesome Merlot and you definitely need to try some!