Bruce and Birgit Anderson run Sunset Winery out of what is more or less a house in suburban Fort Worth, so the idea that their 2004 Moon Glow Merlot can win an award seems kind of fantastic. Burleson is not exactly Napa.
Nevertheless, the wine tells the story. The Moon Glow (about $20, available from the winery) won a bronze medal at the prestigious Dallas Morning News competition earlier this year. It’s a warm, rich wine that is isn’t as big or as jammy as most California merlots. Plus, it doesn’t have any of the excess acid that characterizes so many poorly-made Texas merlots and cabernet sauvignons. Pair it with red meat dishes, and especially lamb.
I’m not necessarily sold on merlot as a grape that needs to be grown in Texas. But the Andersons and grower Neal Newsom, who supplied the grapes, show what is possible.