Ste. Chapelle Merlot 1997
Merlot from Idaho, Other US
Merlot is a varietal that has seen phenomenal growth in sales in the last five years. The main reason cited for this growing interest in Merlot is its pleasing suppleness and rich fruit aromas. Ste. Chapelles Canyon Merlot is softer in the finish than many full-bodied red wines, making it a good choice to serve with pasta or lighter meat entrees. Our 1997 Canyon Merlot was blended from grapes grown in the Webb Ranch and Arena Valley Vineyards. Combining these two Merlots gave this bottling increased complexity and balanced flavors. After fermentation, we aged a portion of the wine in small oak barrels to add a toasty oak character to the bouquet. This Canyon Merlot has a medium body, soft tannins and a full, round finish. The balance between the fruit and oak flavors makes it an appropriate wine to pair with a wide range of foods, including beef, poultry and pasta dishes.
Ste. Chapelle Winery
From high atop "Winery Hill", Ste. Chapelle Winery overlooks thousands of acres of fertile orchards and farmland in Southwestern Idaho. Ste. Chapelle was founded in 1976 and named after La Sainte-Chapelle Church in Paris, France. The winery has grown to produce over 120,000 cases and by adhering to a quality focus, their wines have eraned national and international recognition since the beginning.
View all Ste. Chapelle Winery Wines
An inland state, Idaho has some of the highest altitude vineyards in the United States. With wide fluctuation between night and day temperatures, grapes here are harvested with both high acidities and high sugars, making Riesling especially successful. Other cool climate varieities like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay also thrive. Ste Chappelle dominates the state's industry and is the fifth largest in the Pacific Northwest.
About Other US
Every state in the United States makes wine. That's not to say that every wine is good, nor is every wine made from grapes. Hawaii ferments pineapples, while Connecticut makes wines from their well-known berry farms. But almost every state has at least one vineyard trying to make wine from grapes. Those who are most successful, beyond California, Washington, Oregon and New York are:
Wine in Virginia has come a long way since Thomas Jefferson unsuccessfully planted vinifera grapes at his home in Monticello. Our third president, known as the first American wine connoisseur, spent a good amount of time touring vineyards in France, hoping he could replicate the vineyards in Virginia. May not have been successful 200 years ago, but today, the Commonwealth of Virginia is home to over 150 wineries.
Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are the most widely planted white and red grapes. Other success stories include Cabernet Franc, which does very well on Virginia soil, producing wines that are ripe and round, snuffing out the vegetal tendencies of this varietal. Viognier may be the next big white, making some lovely aromatic, yet dry, white wines.
One of the least likely areas to expect wine, New Mexico's wine potential was tapped when the Gruets, a French family, moved to the state with the intention of making sparkling wine. Just to show that the French really do know what they are doing (the Gruets were from the Champagne region after all), Gruet is now a nationally recognized wine. The wines are delicious and one of the best deals in sparkling wine. The family makes a range of wines - from the ethereal and efferevesant blanc de blancs to the more full-bodied blanc-de-noir to the slightly sweet demi-sec.
New Mexico is now home to nineteen wineries. While none are as large as Gruet, more winemakers are
realizing that the warm day and cool night combination in the state has great potential for great wine.
Other states worth trying include North Carolina, Texas, Ohio, Idaho and Michigan.
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 & 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.