A Completely Honest, Non-Political Review of Trump Winery’s Meritage Monticello

     On my most recent trip to Washington D.C.  I happened upon a bottle of 2015 Trump Winery Meritage Monticello.  With everything going on in the world of politics, gossip and boycotts the name Trump in large bold letters on this bottle obviously jumped out and caught my attention.  No matter what your political affiliation is, the end product is the result of the wine maker and not necessarily the owner.  That is why I think it is important as a professional to sit down and sample this wine with an open mind and judge it just as fairly as any other wine.  I do not bother myself with the politics of other wineries so I will not with this one either. 

     Trump Winery originally was the Kluge Estate Winery once owned by former nude model Patricia Kluge.  Over the years, it has accumulated numerous awards and very high ratings.  Donald Trump purchased the winery in 2011 after it was foreclosed upon by Bank of America.  It is located in Charlottesville, VA not far from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.  The head winemaker is the very experienced and well-traveled Johnathan Wheeler.  Currently the president of the winery is Eric Trump.

     Due to the backfire of a boycott there has been quite a run on these wines and it wasn’t as easy as I had hoped to get my hands on.  In fact, the Meritage was all I was actually able to find.  I purchased four bottles to bring back to Germany as gifts as well as to try for myself and pass the review along to all of you.

     On the nose this wine gave the aromas that one would expect from a Meritage.  This wine uses a blend of pretty much every Bordeaux grape and the red and black fruit notes were really coming through.  The nose had a bit of a delicate intensity compared to most red blends. 

     The palate was very smooth and drinkable for such a young wine.  This wine had medium tannins that were there, but they weren’t too powerful and grippy.  Also, this wine had a medium acidity.  Just enough to make your mouth water, but not low enough that it doesn’t make you pucker.  This wine had flavors of black cherries, blackberries, peppercorns and a hint of other baking spices. The area where this wine fell a bit short was the finish.  It wasn’t terribly short, but not quite as long as I would have liked either.

     In conclusion, this was a pretty good wine.  It is difficult to grow these sorts of grapes in Virginia, so that in itself speaks for the skill of Johnathan Wheeler.  The blend seemed to be a bit Merlot heavy, giving it similar attributes of a medium quality right bank Bordeaux.  This is an easy drinking wine that would be great for beginners just starting to test the waters with reds.  It is of a decent quality and it doesn’t break the bank either.  I’m sure I will find this wine on my table again someday.​


​Hassell L. Butcher, Pulled Corks LLC