Heron Merlot 2004 is delicious — light as mist but richly flavorful with a transparent finish. We found it at John Edwards Market in Ellsworth in the close-out rack: $9.99. You would be nuts not to get one before they’re gone.
It’s almost too nice to drink with dinner. It deserves to be savored for its own seamless, balanced self.
Not that it matters, but it also has a very lovely, elegant label. And totally not that it matters, company founder Laely Heron is drop-dead gorgeous.
Laely Heron is an American whose adventurous father was a mining engineer. She has lived everywhere and speaks English, French and Danish and can get around in Swedish, Norwegian, Spanish and Italian.
Growing up, she lived in several states before the family moved to North Africa. After two years, they tramped through Madagascar, Mauritius, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand before returning to the States so Laely and her sister could attend high school.
She put in two years at the University of Colorado then wandered back to Europe for a junior year in France. That’s when she enrolled at the Institute of Enology in Bordeaux.
She settled in San Francisco and became the first American employee of the Australian wine Goliath Lindeman’s. Thence to Denmark to open a restaurant and study wine.
She returned to San Francisco in 1995 and launched Heron Wines, distributing wines from France, Spain and California.
Heron’s philosophy, according to her official bio, is to offer wines that are “direct reflections of Laely’s spirit — pioneering, adventurous, daring, smart, adaptable, thrill seeking, irreverent, non-traditional and international.”
Though her persona sounds like Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, her wines are the real deal. The only international mystery is why this Merlot is in the close-out bin.
For more arts & entertainment news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.