It’s no secret to readers that I am a big fan of Kansas City. I love the National World War I Museum, the Nelson Atkins, and the Jazz Museum. I love KC’s rich barbecue scene: Woodyard, Jack Stack, Arthur Bryant’s, Gates, Q39, Joe’s and so many more. I love the Chiefs, the Royals, and Sporting KC. I love Crown Center, the Plaza, and Westport. I love the running scene — Rock The Parkway, Hospital Hill, and the KC Marathon. And a few years ago, I found yet another reason to love the place, in the form of a little urban winery in the Russian Bottoms called Amigoni. You can read our review of the Amigoni Urban Winery here: https://itheewine.com/2015/01/20/amigoni-urban-winery-review/
We stop by Amigoni whenever we can, and often bring back a bottle or two. One thing I think is neat about what they’re doing there is making a lot of wines out of vinifera — Merlot, Cab Franc, Mourvedre and more. They grow much of it themselves, in a place where most people favor Norton, the state grape of Missouri, and hybrid varietals that do better in that climate and soil. When they can’t grow enough themselves they bring it in, as was the case with this Merlot, which we tasted blind with several others a few nights ago. It did well.
The 2012 Amigoni Merlot is a pleasant ruby red color with a nose of bright red fruits. Mild tannins lend the wine a delicate structure. Bright fruit notes mingle with darker fruits – a very fruit forward wine, but with enough acid and tannin to give it balance. At the end, a pleasant dry finish ties it all together. Tasted next to two Washington State and two California Merlots, this wine impressively held its own.
All in all, this is a very nice, somewhat rare example of Merlot from Missouri, where the varietal is rarely produced. It gets 90 points on my scale, and is recommended. Go Chiefs!