International Wine Cellar | Rating: 89($52) Dark red-ruby. Aromas of dark berries, plum and licorice. Supple, juicy and bright, with a gentle quality to the dark fruit and graphite flavors. Ripe acids and sweet tannins give this early appeal. This persistent merlot is made from Peterson Ranch and other Napa Valley fruit, as well as vines on Foley's Howell Mountain property. Incidentally, the multi-talented Foley finally has his own winery with an extensive network of caves at his place in Angwin on Howell Mountain (he continues to make Hourglass and Switchback there). But probably the most impressive room in the new facility is the Batcave-like sound stage and concert space deep in the compound, where Foley and his band can amp up the volume without disturbing the neighbors.Author: Stephen TanzerIssue: May/June 2009
Wine Advocate | Rating: 89Another fine effort is the medium-bodied, round, supple-textured, cleanly-made 2006 Merlot. Its dark ruby/purple color is accompanied by aromas of sweet black cherries, white chocolate, and spice.Drink Dates: 2008-2014Author: Robert Parker
Wine Spectator | Rating: 91Offers ripe cherry and toasty sage aromas, with concentrated and complex flavors of dried plum and herb that finish with dusty, mineral-tinged tannins.Drink Dates: 2010-2013Author: Tim Fish
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California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like , , , and in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. and continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.
Merlot is a soft and elegant grape with medium tannin, high acidity, and notes of plum, red currant, tobacco and red cherry. It is typically aged in French oak, which contributes notes of mocha and clove.
Plantings of Merlot dominate and , making this variety ’s beauty. The variety is most famous amongst wine aficionados due to its presence in the world-renowned wine and its important role in . The typical style in this region is medium-bodied with medium alcohol and high acidity, fresh fruit character, and vegetal, leafy aromas. This herbaceous flavor profile is achieved by harvesting grapes earlier, a practice that is rare outside of Bordeaux.
In order to generate maximum intensity of color, concentrated fruit, and soft, velvety tannin, most other regions harvest Merlot grapes as late as possible. The best examples of this “international” style are aged in new oak to add flavors of toast, vanilla, and clove.
In , Merlot is a key contributor to “Super-Tuscan” blends and is also made in a varietal style by top producers , and . California producers such as , , and are also responsible for some of the world’s best wines made from Merlot.Merlot tends to fall in the middle of the spectrum for tannin, color, flavor, and acid, making it a strong match for a wide variety of food. Typical pairings include Cornish hen, roasted chicken, richly sauced dishes, casseroles, and caramelized vegetables.
Collector Data For This Wine
- 131 bottles owned
- 44 collectors