Swanson Oakville Merlot 2007
Merlot from Napa Valley, California
The 2007 Swanson Oakville Merlot is a very tightly-focused ode to the wines of the Right Bank of Bordeaux. The nose offers mocha and black cherry. Firm, sweet, silky tannins give away the fact that this wine is from Oakville. Raspberry, black cherry and red licorice contribute to the complex flavors. Should age very nicely through at least 2015.
Wine Enthusiast - "One of the best Merlots of the vintage, at a good price for the quality. Shows a structural quality and ripeness that are pure Oakville, with ultra refined tannins, good acidity and plush, complex flavors of black cherries, red currants and licorice that go on and on into a long, spicy finish. New oak comprises 40% of the barrels and adds beautiful notes of toast and warmth."
Founded by W. Clarke Swanson, Jr. in 1985, Swanson Vineyards consists of 140 acres of estate vineyards in the Oakville area of Napa Valley. The winery produces Merlot, Syrah, Sangiovese, Pinot Grigio, a late harvest Semillon, plus their flagship proprietary blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, called "Alexis." View all Swanson Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
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 FactsWithin 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 grated 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.
About CaliforniaIt'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.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review3.5 }div>3.7 out of 5 stars
- 5 Stars: 3
- 4 Stars: 2
- 3 Stars: 4
- 2 Stars: 1
- 1 Stars: 0
10 ratings, 5 with reviewswine taster - Quincy, MA310/13/2012Mimi La Borracha - Saint Augustine, FL44/27/2012Joseph Liberty - Wood Dale, IL33/16/2012For me this is just ok. I would expect it under $20 for what you get.Mary R - Huntersville, NC32/6/201231/23/2012Hmmm. 94 points- over rated. 90 points maybe. I was expecting something out of this world, but it was Merlot.51/5/2012This is our favorite go-to wine for everyday use. Nice fruit flavors that really come through. A favorite412/24/2011212/23/2011Drank 12/22/11 - very disappointed. Rough, even the second day. Lots of mineral in aroma and taste.David Mahagnoul - Duluth, MN512/4/2011Lillehammer - Brattleboro, VT57/4/2011I purchased this wine on a one day sale, to give it a try. You never know until you try but in retrospect I should have purchased a truckload. I love good Merlot and this is, truly, one of thr finest I have ever tasted! Supple, smooth and soft with sufficient character to take you all the way. It is dry but not in the least astringent; the richness of the fruit is amazing and fills your nosae, mouth and soul; it is difficult to imagine how added aging will actually improve it. It is even more difficult to believe one can stop drinking it! California produces the only Merlot worth drinking and this is an outstanding example. I have only had one finer (marginally) and that is Sterling Three Palms. That said, Swanson vineyards Merlot is gorgeous and is just...HUGE! I wish I had more.
Alcohol By Volume GuideMost 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.
- 5 Stars: