Last summer I was invited by Breaux Vineyards owner Jennifer Breaux to participate in a virtual tasting of their ’15 and ’16 Meritage blends. They were both fine; the ’16 was a bit lighter with more Merlot, and the ’15 was big and brooding with more (50%) Cabernet Sauvignon. In northern Loudoun, the vintage was better than it was in Central Va.

Last night I opened a bottle of the 2015 and was impressed at how well it matches beef on an icy winter night. Here are my tasting notes:

Breaux vineyards Meritage 2015

50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec.

Nnose: ripe black fruits, black olive, sage and a hint of tobacco. Palate: dense but well-integrated, reminiscent of the ripe, rich 2010 vintage. Ripe black fruits with a hint of oak linger on the palate with elegant garden herb nuances, and a pleasingly fresh, clean finish. Needs decanting, will last another 5 years if well-cellared.