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Santa Cruz Mountains
In the glass: Pepper, nutmeg and clove
On the palate: Cherry, olallieberry, plum, and thyme
The Finish: Licorice, cinnamon, and cherry pie
325 cases produced. 40% Cabernet Sauvignon (Beauregard Ranch Vineyard), 60% Merlot (Zayante Vineyards).
Meritage, pronounced like heritage, first appeared in the 1980s after a group of American vintners joined forces to create a name for New World wines blended in the traditional Bordeaux style. Meritage combines "merit," reflecting the quality of the grapes, with "heritage," which recognizes the centuries-old tradition of blending, long considered to be the highest form of the winemaker's art.