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aMaurice Night Owl Estate Red Blend 2010

  • W&S93
  • WE92
750ML / 14.1% ABV
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  • V90
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750ML / 14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

2011 vintage was one of the coldest on record. With the late ripening varietals, the resulting wine is beyond dark fruits. They are black fruits. Blackberry, black cherry, and all things that go bump in the night. The wines is aptly named this year. The wine is low in alcohol and high in acidity. The 2011 Night Owl will age beautifully, please open and provide ample air before drinking.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
This estate blend is half merlot, with the remainder cabernet sauvignon, franc and petit verdot—a dark red reflecting the cool hills of Mill Creek. It smells vinous, with scents of cedar and violet candy, luscious purple fruit lingering beneath. The flavors are framed by earthy tannins, with a lot of oomph for a merlot-based wine.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
A blend of 52% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot, this wine is aromatically brooding with notes of coffee, mineral, flowers and cherry. The palate boasts abundant coffee and cherry flavors backed by firm tannins that need time in the cellar to stretch their legs. Best after 2021, with a long life ahead of it.
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aMaurice

aMaurice

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aMaurice, Washington
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aMaurice Cellars, a family-owned boutique winery situated on 20 perfectly sloped acres in the Blue Mountains of Walla Walla, Washington, creates authentic, food-friendly wines. With an elevation of 1,475 feet and a south facing slope, our vineyard enjoys long summers, cool nights and an annual rainfall averaging 16-18 inches ideal conditions for growing wine grapes. Each wine is the living result of fervent dedication to sustainable viticulture and the passion and skill of expert winemaking - and the growing talents of more than 15,000 select vines. aMaurice Cellars is owned and operated by the Schafer family, fifth-generation Washingtonians.
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Walla Walla Valley

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Responsible for some of Washington’s most highly acclaimed wines, the Walla Walla Valley has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years and is home to both historic wineries and younger, up-and-coming producers.

The Walla Walla Valley, a Native American name meaning “many waters,” is located in southeastern Washington; part of the appellation actually extends into Oregon. Soils here are well-drained, sandy loess over Missoula Flood deposits and fractured basalt.

It is a region perfectly suited to Rhône-inspired Syrahs, distinguished by savory notes of red berry, black olive, smoke and fresh earth. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot create a range of styles from smooth and supple to robust and well-structured. White varieties are rare but some producers blend Sauvignon Blanc with Sémillon, resulting in a rich and round style, and plantings of Viognier, while minimal, are often quite successful.

Of note within Walla Walla, is one new and very peculiar appellation, called the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater. This is the only AVA in the U.S. whose boundaries are totally defined by the soil type. Soils here look a bit like those in the acclaimed Rhône region of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but are large, ancient, basalt cobblestones. These stones work in the same way as they do in Chateauneuf, absorbing and then radiating the sun's heat up to enhance the ripening of grape clusters. The Rocks District is within the part of Walla Walla that spills over into Oregon and naturally excels in the production of Rhône varieties like Syrah, as well as the Bordeaux varieties.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

AUT10AMNOEREDBL_2010 Item# 143313