Scout and Cellar
Disclaimer: We received the bottle of Fiddleneck Merlot from Scout and Cellar as a sample.
As the disclaimer above states we received the wine reviewed here as a sample. In this instance, it was neither the winery nor a PR agency that sent us the bottle. A business called Scout and Cellar sent us the Fiddleneck Merlot.
Scout and Cellar is a website that sells wine. That is not unusual. However, they have a mission that makes them stand out from the crowd. They sell wine that is “clean-crafted”.
What does clean-crafted mean? It seems to be a term invented by Scout and Cellar, so it is not surprising if you had not heard the term before.
The grapes are grown without the use of synthetic additives. The only additives are sulfites. With no more than 100 parts per million (ppm) of this preservative and usually less than 50ppm. This is roughly in line with the industry norm. US regulations cap sulfites at 350ppm. Sulfites help preserve wine and prevent it from going off. It is not a new additive. There is a German law from 1487 that permitted the addition of sulfites to wine.
Sulfites aside, clean-crafted means no other additives. A list of additives on the site include sugar. While it is not legal to add sugar to wine in California, it is an established practice in other wine-growing regions.
The Scout and Cellar site tells the story of the founder, Sarah. How she had a headache the morning after a single glass of wine. Research led her to the conclusion that responsibility lay with the chemicals added to mass-produced wine. This led her to create Scout and Cellar. She finds wine without additives and then offers it for sale.
The wine that Scout and Cellar sent us was a bottle of 2016 Fiddleneck Merlot. The nose was of damp wood and cherry; the fruit notes fairly muted. The wine offered a soft mouthfeel. A well-balanced flavour profile had cherry, spice, mineral notes, all backed with good acidity. The finish added chocolate notes and tannins emerged.
We had a couple of glasses on the night that we opened the bottle. We finished it the next night. The extra twenty-four hours softened the wine further and enhanced the fruit flavours.
The Fiddleneck Merlot is $25; a fair price for the wine, especially if you want a wine that is free from chemical additives.
To buy your wines from Scout and cellar follow this link www.scoutandcellar.com/KarynMorrow