Hayman & Hill Napa Valley Merlot 2005
Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Napa Valley is the king of Californian wine regions, and arguably the king of Merlot. The diverse region is picture perfect at any time of the year and is always a hive of viticultural and winemaking activity. The moderate climate and even ripening conditions are enjoyed by everyone - from the smallest vineyard plots to sprawling, high-pedigree estates.
Dark plum and cherry aromas are edged with notes of licorice, and unfold gradually to subtle, smoky oak. Soft and luscious on entry, with bright, almost sweet flavors of ripe stone fruit. The medium weight and stylish finish are typical of Napa Valley's finest Merlot.
The full blend of this merlot wine was matured in a variety of oak for fourteen months: American barrels makes up 60% of the aging process, French oak is 20% and Central European oak is 20%.
"Smooth and dry, this Merlot seems designed to stand alongside food, rather than try and be a food group of its own. It has an earthy, herbaceous quality, with suggestions of cherries and red currants, and a rich scour of tannins. All that gives it a real Bordeaux quality."
Hayman & Hill Winery
With this brand, David Hayman and Dennis Hill have utilized their collective experience, working with growers to craft wine from the most prestigious California wine regions. Convinced that they could source grapes from the best California appellations, David and Dennis have utilized resources at their disposal to make top notch, single varietal, appellation designated wines.
This portfolio of fine wines speaks to their passion of making wines for a label worthy of their respective surnames, Hayman & Hill. David Hayman enjoys seventeen years of strong international winemaking experience. He spent five years overseeing production across eleven Hardys wineries throughout Australia, and currently serves as Blackstone Winery’s Senior Vice President of Operations, overseeing all California winemaking operations. Dennis Hill has over twenty five years of winemaking experience with many leading Sonoma wineries. In 1994, Dennis joined the Blackstone Winery and for the past nine years, has delivered a wine profile that strikes a chord with consumers. Dennis is the Chief Winemaker for the Blackstone Winery and works in Sonoma County.
The Hayman & Hill Winemaker’s Collection was released in October, 2003. It is comprised of a selection of reserve wines from best known appellations with individual selection numbers.
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About Napa Valley
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.
Notable Facts 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 granted 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.
4 ratings, 4 with reviews
Balanced and true to the Merlot character.
When I first tasted this wine I was expecting something ordinaire as the price was in that scary wheel house of the non descript. This Merlot is very expressive with blueberry and cherry on the nose, there is a sweet nuance of Vanilla that is laced through the fruit, very nice! The flavors are full but not sharp and bighting like a Napa Cab, this wine leaves your move salivating for another sip.
Seemed too woody and sharp tannin.
Cherries on a non descript nose. This isn't sweet, but is a great example of why so many people don't like merlot any more. Green and bitter. Unpleasant.
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.