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Merlot - El Dorado

Merlot - El Dorado Reserve Wine Details

Description: This Merlot shows deep classic stone fruit and powdery cocoa flavors favoring Bordeaux ’s Left Bank . This powerful wine is big and rich with huge fruit and low tannins. The 18-year-old Merlot vines in the Gold Hill Vineyard, which overlooks the American River Canyon in El Dorado County , enjoy warm days and cooling breezes at night. This micro-climate allows an optimal ripening cycle for the Bordeaux grape varietals and produces wines of great character. The grapes were harvested by hand, lightly crushed, fermented in open-top tanks over seven days, punched-down by hand four times a day, lightly pressed and moved via gravity flow. The wine was racked five times and bottled after 17 months of aging in small oak barrels. It is unfined and unfiltered. The wine is a stellar example of Crystal Basin Cellars winemaking style. It is soft and approachable now but will improve in the cellar through 2006, when the forward fruit will become less pronounced.

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.
Recent crossing of Riesling and Sylvaner grape with the Muller-Thurgau. Widely grown in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region of Germany and used for blending purposes in the white wines of the region.


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