Blackstone Merlot is a red wine that’s crafted, bottled and cellared by the Blackstone Winery in Acampo, California, USA.
The grapes for Blackstone Merlot are sourced from multiple vineyards in California.
They select their grapes based on how they will contribute to the wine’s complexity, while still retaining consistency from year to year.
Blackstone Merlot Wine Review
From the Bottle Label:
At Blackstone, we know that what matters to you is taste. If a wine tastes good, then it’s a good wine. So, we’ve artfully crafted this Merlot in our signature style; consistent, smooth, balanced and perfect for any occasion from dinner parties to everyday enjoyment.
According to the wine’s tasting notes, the wine is made up of the following varietals:
- Merlot – 79%
- Syrah – 14%
- Petite Sirah – 4%
- Cabernet Sauvignon – 2%
- Malbec – 1%
Additionally, Blackstone Merlot is aged for 11 months in American and French oak.
I tasted the 2017 vintage of this wine.
In the glass, Blackstone Merlot pours a nice medium plum color with a garnet outer rim of color against the glass.
While certainly a dark wine, typical of Merlot, this wine does let just a bit of light through the liquid.
Legs are slow to form. However, they are numerous and take their time to fall down the sides of the glass.
When I first poured the wine into my glass, the wine’s aroma was noticeable but not overpowering.
You do have to get up close to really take in the wine’s nose.
Doing so reveals notes of allspice, a little tobacco and muted mixed berry jelly. I think the spice was most dominant, followed by the berries. Though truthfully, nothing stood out.
I noted very little sting of alcohol in the nose. Maybe just a bit, but I could have been confusing that with the spice.
As the wine aired a bit, I also found some vanilla notes in there.
Blackstone Merlot alcohol content 13.5% by volume per the bottle.
Upon tasting the wine, I first noted tasty red fruits (raspberry mostly) followed by a little butter.
I didn’t really pick up any spice carrying over from the nose.
I will say I enjoyed the flavors.
Nothing overly complex, but certainly palate pleasing with a bit of vanilla oak thrown in there too, once the wine had a chance to breathe.
Mouthfeel and Tannins
I compared the mouthfeel to linen, with some expected dryness from the tannins.
The tannins themselves were fairly well-restrained though they did seem to collect in the nooks and crannies of my mouth.
Most people would call this a dry wine, I believe.
Predictably, Blackstone Merlot’s finish was long lasting.
I felt there was a nice balance between the flavor and the tannins, holding through to the end.
Overall, I found this wine to be enjoyable, though non-complex.
Definitely a solid sipper on its own and easily paired with foods.
A safe bet, so to speak.
And, given the wine’s low price, a no brainer for stocking a dinner party or special occasion without breaking the bank.
Blackstone Merlot price $9.99. I bought this at a small local wine shop. You can likely find it for $7.99 at a bigger store.
Now, I was curious to see how consistent this wine was from previous years, as I’ve had it in the past.
So, I dug out my tasting notes and took a look…
What I found was that my notes indicated an almost perfect resemblance to the review you’re reading now. I didn’t look at my notes first, before doing this tasting and review.
Some previous quotes included “Blackstone Merlot would be a good multi-bottle wine to have on hand for a big family lasagna dinner” and “Raspberry flavors, not surprisingly, were evident… There was also a very slight hint of vanilla.”
It’s all about the consistency and value with this wine, folks!
Suggested Food Pairing
Blackstone suggests three different pairing options for Blackstone Merlot:
- Hearty Lasagna
- Grilled Steak
- Baked Salmon
Each sound like a great pairing to me!
George Meek says
I purchased a bottle of the Merlot the other day at Costco in Carson City for about $4.00 a bottle(we have a cabin in Lake Tahoe). Last night we opened and found it to be a very pleasant wine. Enjoyed your review. Was trying to find where the winery is located in Acampo and assume it is at the old Acampo winery off Hwy 99 where a friend of ours from Bakersfield’s brother operated it for some years…now sold. Does not sound like they have a vineyard there but buy from winegrowers for their production. Have a friend in Bakersfield, a big table grape grower, who has been producing TLO Wines and is sourcing his grapes over at the coast in San Luis County. Anyway my run back down to Carson City and buy a few more bottles for entertaining.
Jon Rogers says
Thanks for commenting George!
Wow, $4.00 a bottle. Now that’s a steal.
Great to hear your perspective on Acampo and that winery. According to Yelp it’s located on the Sonoma Hwy in Kenwood, CA. However, it says Acampo on the bottle so maybe the Kenwood location is really just a tasting room??
Yes, Blackstone appears to source their grapes from other vineyards as many do these days. They state that in their tasting notes, but I didn’t see any specific sourcing vineyards referenced. My guess is it changes on a yearly basis. I know the blend has changed a bit over the years.
I’m glad you enjoyed the review!