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.