The Trump Winery in Virginia is run by Eric Trump, Wine Enthusiast Magazine's Wine Star "Rising Star of the Year". Virginia is one of America's oldest wine growing regions with no less a figure that Thomas Jefferson having planted many of the earliest vineyards. Formerly the Kluge winery, under Eric's direction Trump produces reds and whites but their sparkling wines have stood out, receiving particular accolades and awards. Vines are sheltered in the foothills of Carter’s Mountain in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. The red varieties were planted on southern exposure slopes. The clay strata includes a significant proportion of rocks (shists from volcanic basalts mainly).
The grapes are hand-sorted and destemmed, then coldly macerated with their skins for 2-3 days at around 42-44° F (5-6°C). They are then fermented in stainless tanks at no more than 77°F (25°C), with 2-3 pump-overs a day to ensure maximum extraction from the skins. After alcoholic fermentation, the grapes experience an extended post maceration and malolactic fermentation. The free run and press wines are separated and aged in used French oak barrels for about 12 months. The Meritage 2014 is a Bordeaux-type blend that is 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, 14% Petit Verdot, and 11% Malbec. With a brilliant, intense ruby red color, this wine has a nose lightly toasted with dominant aromas of black cherry, currant, cocoa, and fresh herbs. This fresh, medium body wine is fruit forward, soft and approachable. The palate offers some spicy notes with soft supple tannins.
Wine Enthusiast Magazine said "With all five of the Bordeaux red grapes in this blend, this shows a good concentration of dark bramble and spice on the nose. Medium-bodied in feel, with grippy tannins, dark shades of currant and plum meet a zippy core of granite on the palate. Specks of tarragon and black pepper mark the finish."