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Alexander Valley Vineyards Merlot 2009

Merlot from Sonoma County, California
  • W&S88
  • WS88
14% ABV
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2009 has aromas of black cherry, blackberry, oak, vanilla, plum and the slight eucalyptus typical of Alexander Valley. In the glass there are flavors of plum, vanilla, more cassis and red fruit, a touch of spice and mint. Overall the 2009 is elegant with good balance and a long aftertaste.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 88
Wine & Spirits
A simple, juicy merlot, this wine lasts on clean strawberry flavors. Its fine tannins give it a creamy feel. For roast beef.
WS 88
Wine Spectator
This solid, well-focused Merlot shows good complexity, with dried cherry and herb aromas and appealing red currant and spice flavors.
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Alexander Valley Vineyards

Alexander Valley Vineyards

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Alexander Valley Vineyards, , California
Alexander Valley Vineyards
Alexander Valley Vineyards is owned and operated by the Harry Wetzel family. Founded in 1975, it is located on Cyrus Alexander's old homestead.

The Wetzel Family Estate now grows fourteen grape varieties, on diverse sites stretching from the banks of the Russian River up onto the hillsides. Each grape variety is matched to a specific soil type and exposure. Vineyard Manager Mark Houser and Winemaker Kevin Hall work as a team to maximize fruit flavor in the vineyard and to create balanced wines that capture the grapes’ varietal characteristics. Hank Wetzel oversees the vineyard and winery operations, and his wife Linda continues to oversee administration. Now the third generation of Wetzels has joined the winery. Harry Wetzel, IV is assistant winemaker while younger brother Robert is the National Sales Manager.

Alexander Valley Vineyards produces 100,000 cases annually, 17 varietal wines and proprietary blends. Seventy-five percent of AVV’s production is red wine. Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon constitute roughly half of total production. Other varietals include Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Gewurztraminer, Syrah, Sangiovese, Viognier, and Cabernet Franc.

A large and diverse wine region in northeastern Italy, the Veneto is home to a vast array of different styles of wine. With no defining regional characteristics, it can be a bit confusing to the general consumer to parse through its many subzones, but the patient wine lover will find many treasures to be discovered here, typically at wallet-friendly prices. Red and white wines are produced here, with more emphasis on the latter, as well as the ultra-popular sparkling wine Prosecco. The region is sheltered from harsh northern European winters by the Alps, which form its northern border, but the climate is still relatively cool, making the Veneto ideal for white wine production.

Much of Italy’s Pinot Grigio hails from the Veneto, where it can range from neutral and inoffensive to crisp and refreshing. Soave, made primarily from the Garganega grape, has a reputation for producing relatively ordinary, bulk wines, but can be very elegant when yields are carefully monitored, with aromas of lemon, almond, and white flowers. Valpolicella is the region’s best-known red wine, with juicy, tart red cherry flavors derived from the Corvina grape. Recioto and Amarone wines made from dried grapes are a regional specialty and can be very intense, heady, and cerebral.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

GZT1851915_2009 Item# 115727

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