Festival'34 Merlot 2006
Merlot from Central Coast, California
- red wine
- Smooth & Supple
- 13.5% abv
This merlot is very approachable and showcases true varietal flavors of ripe plum and black cherry. Aromas of rich black fruit, blueberries, cocoa and cinnamon stick, lead into a soft round entry with rich fruit flavors and supple ripe tannins. Blended with small amounts of Petite Sirah and Malbec to increase the layers of flavors to the wine.
When crafting this wine, the winemaking team selected luscious fruit from their Monterey, Santa Barbara and Paso Robles Vineyards. In these coastal vineyards, cool breezes and fog from the Pacific Ocean provide ideal maritime conditions for growing balanced wine grapes.
In the fall of 1934, California's wine country celebrated its first harvest following the repeal of Prohibition. Wineries reopened their doors and merrymakers came from far and wide to celebrate at this momentous event dubbed 'Festival '34'. It is with that gracious spirit and sense of celebration we commemorate with Festival '34 wines.
The wine for Festival '34 was primarily sourced from vineyards in Monterey, Paso Robles and Santa Barbara. The Reds were sourced from the warmer regions of Monterey and Paso while the Chardonnay was sourced from the Maritime influenced Santa Barbara.
In general, the Central Coast is a cooler wine growing region than Sonoma or Napa because the hills in the Central Coast are positioned East to West while the hills in Napa and Sonoma are positioned North to South. The East to West positioning allows the fog to drift in from the Ocean, cooling off the summer heat allowing for a longer growing period. This allows the wines to fully develop on the vine and increases the acidity, making the wine more food-friendly.
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About Central Coast
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable Facts Grape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country unto itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.