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Merlot Napa Valley

Merlot Napa Valley Wine Details
Price: $32.00 per bottle

Description: The 2002 Keenan Merlot is composed of seventy percent Keenan Estate Merlot. The remainder of this wine is made up of Merlot fruit harvested from the Napa Carneros region. In addition, three percent Estate Cabernet Franc has been added to the blend in order to add additional complexity. After hand harvesting, the grapes were de-stemmed and inoculated with Montrachet yeast. Fermentation ranged from seven to twelve days before pressing. The'02 Merlot has been aged in thirty-three percent new French and American oak barrels for nineteen months. The resulting wine shows ripe plum, blackberry, cocoa and spice aromas that are enhanced by a toasty oak background. Consumers can expect this Merlot to open up to a rich, velvety, full-bodied wine.

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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