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Avalon Napa Merlot 2009

Merlot from Napa Valley, California
  • WE90
13.8% ABV
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3.4 18 Ratings
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3.4 18 Ratings
13.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Our 2009 Merlot shows its depth with a rich garnet color. Aromas of juicy boysenberries and cherry pie fill the glass. Crème brùlée and brown sugar notes from oak aging complement the ripe berry aromas. Mountain fruit characteristics show in the intensity of the fruit flavors. The entry enjoys sweet berry notes of raspberry and cherry with a finish of jammy boysenberry preserves. The oak notes of chocolate and wood smoke pair with and complement the rich fruit layers. Refined tannins support this balanced wine that doesn't show the typical alcohol component found in many Merlots. As the wine develops in the glass, one may enjoy ongoing berry notes, a touch of allspice evolving in the middle, while the wine continues to lengthen on the finish. Smooth, silky and profound berry flavors confirm this wine's birthplace as Napa Valley.

Blend: 88% Merlot, 6% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petite Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
One of the best Merlot values on the market. With rich, delicious cherry, anise and sandalwood flavors, wrapped into softly smooth tannins, it’s just what a California Merlot should be.
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Avalon

Avalon

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Avalon, Napa Valley, California
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Established in 2001 in bucolic western Sonoma County, Avalon offers approachable, delicious wines of unmatched quality.

Avalon wines are named after the legendary Isle of Avalon, a place steeped in history and tradition. As we craft Avalon, we meld ancient winemaking techniques with modern technology. We combine thoughtful vineyard selection and intuitive winemaking methods to create a selection of wines that are beautifully balanced and effortlessly enjoyable.

Savor Avalon wines when you’re looking for an everyday getaway filled with relaxation and renewal. Avalon offers the ideal “go-to” wines for every occasion. 

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Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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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. But the grape also has enough stuffing to make serious, world-renowned wines. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, in St. Emilion and Pomerol, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc. On the Left Bank in the Medoc, 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 with Cabernet Franc.

YNG134423_2009 Item# 109114