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1998 MERLOT Wine Details
Price: $34.00 per bottle

Description: The Merlot grapes that make up the 1998 Berthoud Merlot were harvested in separate lots on October 11th and 13th. The fruit was handpicked into 40 lb. wooden boxes and crushed directly into open top redwood vats. For 10 days, several times per day, all members of the Berthoud family took turns punching down the cap to ensure maximum color extraction. Post fermentation, the wine was pressed in a 19th century basket press and pumped into 60-gallon French oak barrels to age. After 22 months, the wine emerged loaded with ripe plum and cherry notes, with exceptional concentration and balance, to be enjoyed at its peak through 2008.

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.


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