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Price: $38.00 per bottle

Description: This limited bottling represents a selection of seven of our finest barrels of 2001 Merlot, primarily new French oak, with a single barrel of Cabernet Franc blended in for complexity. Highly concentrated, the intense fruit, body and oak contribution marry together to form a lovely, balanced wine. Ripe, jammy aromas of cherry and plum dominate the nose, while perfume, pepper and mint elevate the background notes. Full-bodied and supple, huge flavors of black cherry and fudge lead to a mouth-coating finish of chocolate and coffee. Excellent with pork roast in an orange-chile reduction, and wonderful with chocolate cheesecake, it is big enough for spicy meat entres and elegant enough for desserts. Will improve for two years, and age nicely for seven.

Varietal Definition
Merlot is known as a Noble Bordeaux varietal. Although it came to France in the first century, it was not named until the 1880s. Merlot was originally used only for blending, as it is soft and compliant, very useful in softening other Bordeaux wines like Cabernets. Recently in California and Chile it became popular as a 100% varietal wine. Merlot tends to be easier to grow in a variety of soil conditions and is harvested earlier in the year than Cabernet. Although most Merlots are made to be drunk earlier, there are many with complexities of a Cabernet. Flavors of plum, black cherry, violet, chocolate and orange pair well with rich, red pasta dishes, hearty chicken dishes, and any beef combination that you fancy. The perfect match of course is chocolate. Not only does the chocolate compliment the wine and vice-versa, but the essence of both flavors linger eternally.
Cabernet Franc:
Cabernet Franc is an accessible, spicy, herbal, dark blue grape variety that is often compared to Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Franc tends to be softer and has less tannin than Cabernet Sauvignon, although the two can be difficult to distinguish. Sometimes the French refer to Cabernets, which could mean either of the two grapes. Its typical aromas include an herbaceous and pronounced peppery nose, even in ripe fruit, and something eerily like tobacco. The Cabernet Franc ripens at an earlier stage, which gives it reason to exist in the Bordeaux area. In the Loire, where we find it a lot, it gives a clear red fresh and fruity wine.


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