Profile is the pinnacle of Merryvale's distinguished Napa Valley red wine portfolio. Acclaimed winemaker Steve Test pulls out all the stops for this sumptuous wine, employing native yeast fermentation, extended time on the skins, 18 months or more in new, top of the line French oak chateau barrels from traditional Bordeaux coopers, and painstaking quarterly racking before bottling the wine unfiltered.
Test demands 'pedal to the metal intensity' when selecting each individual Bordeaux varietal lot for Profile. 'By intensity, I mean deep color and brooding, dark flavors such as roasted coffee - bold and powerful bass notes. The wine's balance comes from the silky, supple tannins derived from ripe grapes and careful finishing.' Chanting the mantra, 'rich, round, fat and supple,' he extracts the very best of each vintage for this crème de la crème.
1998 Profile is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc with grapes from such superstar vineyards as Beckstoffer - Georges III, Poe, Showket, Slawson and Thorevilos. The wine was rated 96 points by Wine Enthusiast, the first American wine on its prestigious 'Best Wines of 2001' list, and garnered an impressive 92 point / '2 puff' rating in the Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine.
Merryvale Vineyards is a family-owned Napa Valley winery dedicated to passionate winemaking and the fine art of living well. For the past 25 years Merryvale has been turning exceptional Napa Valley grapes into world class wine. Merryvale is world renowned for rich, powerful Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, the iconic Bordeaux-style red blend, Profile, and our everyday drinking, fruit driven brand, Starmont. Merryvale's historic building was the first winery built in the Napa Valley after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, and has become a must see attraction for visitors to the valley.
Merryvale is committed to protecting and preserving the environment through conservation, renewable energy and sustainable farming practices at our three estate vineyards. Merryvale has received Napa Green Vineyard, Napa Green Winery and Bay Area Green Business certifications.
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It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Within the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into 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.
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 & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.