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In some quarters and in some vintages, Merlot may be considered the less
able rival of Cabernet Sauvignon. Alexnder Valley Vineyards' 2005 Estate Merlot, however, easily
gives their Cabernet a run for its money, shattering the notion anyone
might have that Merlot is somehow a wimpy wine. In fact, Winemaker
Kevin Hall calls the 2005 a Merlot that thinks it's a Cab.
There's a lot of concentration and depth here as well as amazing
structure. The great 2005 vintage delivered such good fruit that no other
varietal other than Merlot was necessary to round out the blend. There
are aromas of blackberry and cassis along with an undertone of vanilla.
On the palate, the richness and hefty core of fruit shine along with the
While Merlot's popularity can be attributed to its easygoing
style, some credit may also lie in the fact that it's the perfect food
wine, bold without being intrusive. As a result, this wine makes an excellent companion for
a range of foods, from veal chops to beef stew to pizza.
Alexander Valley Vineyards is owned and operated by the Harry Wetzel family. Founded in 1975, it is located on Cyrus Alexander's old homestead.
The Wetzel Family Estate now grows fourteen grape varieties, on diverse sites stretching from the banks of the Russian River up onto the hillsides. Each grape variety is matched to a specific soil type and exposure. Vineyard Manager...Read More About Alexander Valley Vineyards
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the...Read More About Sonoma County
No second fiddle
Merlot is coming back into its own. High popularity led to mass production, which then led to a backlash towards the variety (remember Miles in Sideways?). But passionate Merlot producers, and of course the right bank of Bordeaux, continued to produce quality versions of this grape. Merlot remains the principle grape of top chateaux in St...Read More About Merlot
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