Michael Shaps, Monticello (Virginia) “En Hommage, L. Scott” 2020

($58):  Shaps’ unusual blend (Tannat 50%, Merlot 33%, and Malbec) shows the wonderful diversity of grapes and high-quality wine coming from that state.  Tannat, a grape native to southwestern France, is known for producing big tannic red wines.  Presumably, the inclusion of Merlot and even Malbec is meant to soften Tannat’s edges.  Whatever the reasoning, the blend works marvelously. Another award-winning Virginia Governor’s Cup wine, the En Hommage L. Scott delivers bright and lush plum-like flavors buttressed by a cranberry-like crunchy vivacity.  Its suave texture and fine tannins make it a pleasure to drink now with robust fare.
92 Michael Apstein May 7, 2024