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MERLOT RESERVE - Santa Ynez Valley

MERLOT RESERVE - Santa Ynez Valley Wine Details
Price: $15.99 per bottle

Description: Our 2001 Merlot Reserve hails from the finest vineyard blocks at our winery estate. These blocks were hand-harvested and crafted as individual lots. From these lots, we selected those barrels that best exemplified the quality, character and concentration of the 2001 vintage. These barrels were held for extended aging, then blended to create this limited-production wine. Our 2001 Merlot Reserve boasts a complex bouquet of cherry, anise, raisin and cola. Rich, concentrated flavors of black cherry, plum and dark chocolate are layered with accents of oak and spice. A contribution of Cabernet Franc adds firm, integrated tannins that engage a lingering finish.

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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