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A deep garnet color greets the eye as the Merlot is poured. Initially, the nose is marked by aromas of blackberry, cassis and sweet oak. As the wine opens, notes of cherry, violets, cedar and white pepper add accent. In the mouth, the wine is firmly structured with rich tannins framing a cascade of flavors. Concentrated currant and red cherry are joined with anise, exotic tea and pomegranate. The oak comes forward on the mid-palate with toasty warm vanilla notes as the wine turns delightfully chewy on the finish. The 1997 Merlot is a beautifully structured wine with an ideal balance of power and finesse. Enjoyable now, but it will reward patient cellaring by revealing even more nuance.
Founded in 1977, Matanzas Creek Winery is located on the site of a retired dairy farm in Sonoma County's Bennett Valley. In 1985, the original winery, a converted dairy barn, gave way to a modern winemaking facility and since that time the Estate's Bennett Valley vineyards have grown to include over 280-acres of Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah. Vineyard acquisitions in Sonoma Valley,...Read More About Matanzas Creek
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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