Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Prologue Merlot 2011
Separated from the Napa Valley floor by a north/south running ridge, the world-renowned wineries of Joseph Heitz and Joseph Phelps are located on the west side of this ridge and the Anderson's Estate Vineyards are on the east side at a perfect elevation of 400 feet.
The vineyards not only enjoy Napa Valley's superb microclimate, but share the same Bale Loam Series as are found on the famous Rutherford Bench. This combination of clay-loam soil and microclimate produces up to 106 tons of exceptional fruit each year. One from which a world-class Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-style blend, called Éloge, can be artfully handcrafted.
The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.
Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.
While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.
With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.