Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/24/2014
Sterling Three Palms Vineyard Merlot 2005
Sterling Three Palms Vineyard Merlot 2005
(search item no. 96675)
green wine

The Wine News rating: 95 points
PRICE ON 10/24/2014: $29.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2004 The Wine News rating: 96 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
1997 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Seriously complex and well-structured, our 2005 Three Palms Vineyard Merlot comes from vines that struggle in the rocky, volcanic soils along the eastern flank of Napa Valley. Intense, ripe black cherry aromas virtually jump out of the glass, says Winemaker Mike Westrick about this huge, deep ruby Merlot, he attributes the wine's distinctive mineral character to the vineyard's unique terroir. The opulent black fruit and mineral flavors, layered with mocha, spice and toasty oak, give remarkable weight on the palate, and then linger on the expansive finish. With tannins that combine power with suppleness, this wine already delivers luscious, complex flavors, yet promises cellar-worthiness.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Sterling Vineyards:

About Sterling Vineyards:

Sterling Vineyards was born in the 1960s, a time when creativity and entrepreneurial spirit abounded, especially in California. In 1964, Peter Newton, once a paper broker in England, purchased 70 acres of land in Calistoga and became a Napa Valley winemaker. He planted grapes others did not, bottled varietals others did not, and built a dramatic winery with an aerial tramway. His innovations put Sterling Vineyards into the public eye and helped establish the Napa Valley as a premier travel destination.

When Newton began planting his estate, Cabernet Sauvignon was the preferred variety. He planted the esteemed Cabernet, but his decision to also plant Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot was a bold move. His Merlot vines were the first significant planting of that variety in the Napa Valley. Newton saw potential in the soft, velvety Merlot fruit, and in 1969 he took a chance by releasing California's first vintage-dated Merlot. This decision flew in the face of traditional standards, which held that Merlot was merely a blending grape, and forever changed the perception of red wine. People started to enter a restaurant and ask for a glass of Merlot!



Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 10/24/2014
Hahn Estates Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 2006
Hahn Estates Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 2006
(search item no. 100601)
Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/24/2014: $29.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Decanter rating: 92 points
2012 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The Hahn SLH Pinot Noir is comprised of grapes grown from four of the Hahn Estates Santa Lucia Highlands Vineyards at elevations up to 1,200 feet. The conditions of the Doctor's and Lone Oak Vineyards, and the Smith and Hook Ranches are ideal for growing Pinot Noir, bathed in the sun above the valley fog, while the ocean breezes keep the temperature moderate and allow for a long, cool growing season.

Jeweled in a crystal-clear ruby hue, this sultry wine opens to a nose of soft rose petals and earthy aromas. Pepper and nutmeg draw you in and as the wine passes your lips you are surprised by the elegant and rich mouthfeel. At first taste, this juicy wine gives uncut wild berry and strawberry flavors with hints of melted caramel. Viscous flavors of black cherry combined with slight citrus notes give this wine a unique twist. Soft, velvet-coated tannins taper off with a long finish, making this a perfect pairing with virtually any dish.

Try with vinaigrette-glazed grilled Ahi with spinach and mixed green salad in a raspberry vinaigrette with berries, red onions, avocado and goat cheese.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Hahn Estates:

About Hahn Estates:

The spectacular beauty of California's Central Coast is probably the best-known region in all of California for its unique lifestyle. Monterey County's dramatic ocean scenery, historic communities, artistic culture, verdant pine forests, and bountiful agriculture have beckoned adventure-seekers, seafarers, artists, writers and vacationers for over 100 years. And the 99 miles of breathtaking Pacific coastline is something no other California county can boast.

The wind and fog interact with solar radiation to slow grapes' ripening, producing up to two months longer growing season than in warmer grape growing regions. These conditions create fruit with more varietal intensity, flavor, depth and structure, and thus, exceptional wines. In German, "Hahn" means "Rooster" and for this reason a rooster embellishes the Hahn Estates label, honoring the Hahn Family’s European Heritage. With an inspiration to raise Monterey wines to the highest level, the wines of Hahn Estates are created with a philosophy that all great wines are special – akin to the region they were grown in. The Hahn wines celebrate everything that is Monterey – unique in thought, style and setting.