Souverain Alexander Valley Merlot 2006
Merlot from Sonoma County, California
A blend of 89% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Malbec.
Deep ruby in color, this dense and concentrated Alexander Valley Merlot offers classic aromas of ripe black plum, blackcurrant and blueberry with hints of violet and clove. The core of vibrant fruit balances nicely with the fine-grained tannins, creating a plush and juicy mouthfeel. Baking spice notes from aging in oak barrels meld nicely with the generous black fruit and lead to a long, smooth finish.
Wine Spectator - "Sleek and well-structured, with red currant and spice aromas and appealing black cherry, toasty sage and espresso flavors. The tannins firm up the finish."
Winemaker Ed Killian has been making wine in California's Alexander Valley for 25 years. he knows the vineyards in the valley inside and out and understands which blocks will give him the fruit he is looking for to create Souverain's signature style. Souverain's 120-year-old estate in the Alexander Valley is the primary source for grapes for the illustrious portfolio of Souverain wines. Killian consistently produces outstanding wines that represent the best of Alexander Valley, including an Alexander Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as the flagship Winemaker's Reserve Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. View all Souverain Wines
About Sonoma CountyView a map of Sonoma County wineriesRelated Links:
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 Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt'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.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost 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.