Bargetto Santa Cruz Mountains Merlot 2017
Recommended pairings for this full bodied Merlot are BBQ tri-tip, marinated skirt steak, and hard cheeses.
At the turn of the century, brothers Phillip and John Bargetto emigrated from Piedmont, Italy and later established Bargetto winery in 1933. They brought with them years of Italian wine-making history. Wanting to highlight the distinct quality of their mountain-grown wine, Phillip and John decided to label their first wine with the designation "Select Mountain Vineyard" to showcase where the grapes were grown.
The Next Generation...
The Bargetto Family winemaking heritage continued with John's son, Lawrence, who during the 1960's and 1970's introduced modern technology such as stainless steel fermentation and added new Santa Cruz Mountains varietals such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. He also instituted the Chaucer's line.
Today, the third generation of Bargetto's direct the operation of the winery, which stands as the oldest California winery producing Santa Cruz Mountains wines. We have continued our pioneering spirit with the establishment of a new Santa Cruz Mountains Vineyard in Corralitos, California (Santa Cruz County), where we have planted Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir. In keeping with our family heritage, we plan to experiment with the northern Italian varieties.
A rugged and topographically diverse cool-climate appellation with a rich history, the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA stretches from Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco, to the northern border of Monterey County. Elevations range from 800 feet to upwards of 3,000 and microclimates vary substantially depending on which side of the mountains the vineyards lie; cool ocean winds and fog play an important role here. This can be a challenging region in which to grow grapes, but it is well worth the effort. Santa Cruz Mountains wines are noted for balanced acidity levels, often showing great aging potential. Wine has been made here since the 1800s, most notably from the legendary Ridge Vineyards, whose Monte Bello vineyard garners international admiration.
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are the stars of this region, while Merlot and Zinfandel also perform quite well. Organic and sustainable vineyard practices are becoming increasingly common.
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.