Maker: Vendange Wine Cellars, Lathrop, California
Packaging: 500 ml Tetra pack
Alcohol Content: 13.0%
Our Rating: 8 out of 10
Vendange Merlot 2004 comes in a nifty half-liter Tetra pack. It’s very small considering that it contains two-thirds of a standard bottle of wine – it takes up about the same space as a medium-sized stem wine glass. The closure is a plastic screw cap that is tamper-evident and resealable. The pack is more or less octagonal in shape, though the top and bottom are more square than octagonal. All in all, it’s highly convenient packaging for situations when a small quantity of wine is needed.
The Vendange Merlot isn’t all bad either. It has a robust nose with cherry, oak, and leather notes. Its flavor leans toward the dry side of most Merlots, with juicy dark berry and oak predominating. Its finish has quite a bit of spice. This isn’t a wimpy Merlot, and it will hold its own with spicy Italian dishes or beef.
While the wine is pleasant enough, there are plenty of other inexpensive Merlots that are about as good. The packaging, though, sets the Vendange Merlot apart, at least for the moment. These little Tetra packs are super convenient, and would be great for picnics, tailgating, etc. The small size of the packs lets one carry a variety, too, without having to worry about a bunch of partially consumed bottles. I hope we’ll see more wines in this convenient, small scale form factor.