Our Merlot is approachable, yet deeply rich with berry and oak flavor, providing satisfaction with every glass.
The Spellbound Merlot was created to demonstrate the dark yet playful fruit profile of Merlot with its' soft fruits and aromatics of mulling spice, fresh cedar cigar box and decadent leather. You will find bright fruit
mingling with a classic signature of toasted Madagascar vanilla bean and French oak. Our dark, juicy, plush
wine style continues here with soft tannins that gently caress while the brambly fruit and oak character
manifest in every glass.
Spellbound was born when Rob Mondavi and Paul Hoffman decided to craft wines that are relaxed enough to enjoy every day yet special enough to celebrate milestone events. In honor of California's rich winegrowing heritage, this winemaking team sources fruit from established and emerging wine regions throughout the state, including Alexander Valley, Knights Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Santa Barbara and Lodi.
Currently Spellbound makes Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay. All three wines are approachable and food-friendly, perfect for causal dinners and black tie functions alike. Because Spellbound wines pair so well with food, they've become a favorite choice of fine restaurants.
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California has nearly 100 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) and accounts for almost 90% of wine production in the United States. In our section of Other California, we include wines from smaller AVAs as well as wines from the California AVA. Here are a few smaller AVAs you may see on the label:
Livermore Valley AVA
, located right outside of San Francisco and home to wineries such as Wente.
Lodi County AVA
, an AVA further east of San Francisco and known for its excellent, old-vine Zinfandels.
San Francisco Bay AVA
, a sprawling AVA that covers Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, to name a few.
Wine that holds only the California AVA is typically a wine that includes grapes from a number of different AVAs, which leads to the general labeling of the wine as California. This does not denote the quality of the wine, only the diversity of where the grapes originate.
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.
Every time I go out to my favorite wine bar, I ask the bartender to recommend something "smoky." Sometimes they get it, sometimes they don't. Spellbound Merlot nails it. I will be picking up several bottles to serve to friends during the upcoming holiday season. Happy Halloween, everyone!
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.