Amuse Bouche Merlot 2007
Twelve months later, our esteemed winemaker, Heidi Barrett, describes the '07 (93% Merlot/7% Cabernet Franc) as "almost purple black in color with aromas of crushed blackberries and ripe plum, mineral, wild mushrooms, vanilla and coffee bean. The tannins are muscular but balanced, with consistent velvety textures, and seductively layered to mature 10-15 years down the road." The Amuse Bouche 2007 was bottled in April 2009 after resting in a combination of Tarransaud, Gamba and Radoux cooperage.
The Amuse Bouche 2007 original art was created by legendary artist LeRoy Neiman and is entitled, "The Last Dance." Born in 1921, Neiman has become an American icon for 20th century modern art. He is an artist who responds to his time and has always felt that being a part of every generation was paramount to the success of his work. The "Last Dance," commissioned by Amuse Bouche Winery, depicts two roof top diners enjoying the moment while their champagne flutes rest table side. This oil on board, Neiman explains, "uses colors to emphasize the scent, spirit and feeling of the scene I have experienced."
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Heidi Barrett grew up in the Napa Valley in a winemaking family and was destined to become one of California's leading winemakers. It is said that winemaking is a combination of science and art. With a scientist-winemaker father and an artist mother it is no big surprise that Heidi was drawn to the wine industry. With great enthusiasm, a love for what she does, and an incredible wealth of experience, Heidi blends the art and science of winemaking like few can.
In 2002, Heidi partnered with longtime friend John Schwartz to create Amuse Bouche, a Pomerol-inspired Merlot from Napa Valley. Recognizing that the cult wine phenomenon has created an almost aspirational class structure among collectors, the partners decided to make this limited edition wine available to a much broader consumer base. Winemaker Heidi Barrett explains, "We have created Amuse Bouche, a limited edition, superb Pomerol style wine with the added value of limited edition art that is available to consumers through a variety of channels."
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.