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Arciero Estate Bottled Merlot 1997

Merlot from Central Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    A truly elegant wine with aromas of blackberry, cedars and wintergreens. Full-bodied, yet not harsh. An inspiring balance of spice, structure and acid culminating in a long malt-chocolate finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Arciero

    Arciero Estate Winery

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    Arciero Estate Winery, Central Coast, California
    The Arciero family has, for generations, always had close ties to the land...pressing olives for oil and grapes for wine in their native Italy. The completion of the family winery and Estate Vineyards in Paso Robles, California is a family dream and tradition come true. The Arciero Estate Vineyards are located in the heart of the Paso Robles viticultural area within the Central Coast region. Frank, Sr. fell in love with the Paso Robles area, as the rolling hills reminded him of his hometown in Italy, and in 1983, he began planting grapes here. The Estate Vineyards are planted with ten varieties in three large blocks totaling over 700 acres. The vineyards are situated about six miles east of Paso Robles, with one ranch stretching two miles along Highway 46 East. The Arciero Estate Vineyards are planted on well-drained calcareous soil of a clay loam composition.

    Central Coast

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    The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of the state's wine. The sprawling district covers most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara from the coast 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 Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountains.

    Just about every major international grape variety is planted within this vast AVA, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. A significant proportion of the region’s produce is generic, inexpensive bulk wine, but the Central Coast is also home to many small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as everything in between.

    An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

    In the Glass

    Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

    Perfect Pairings

    Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

    Sommelier Secret

    Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

    PIM40860_1997 Item# 44366