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Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Merlot 2005

Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Lush aromas and silky flavors of ripe black cherry, plum, mocha and spice distinguish our Napa Valley Merlot. The expansive fruit flavors, structured with fine, integrated tannins, persist through the lingering finish. This wine makes a delicious complement to many entrées, especially lamb shish kebabs, steak smothered in mushrooms and roast duck with cherry sauce. Mellow aged cheddars and nutty, dry jacks are perfect foils for the rich Merlot flavors. After the grapes were destemmed and crushed, we fermented the must in stainless steel tanks until dry. We then pressed and transferred the vineyard-lot wines to small oak barrels coopered with American, French and Hungarian oak to achieve an array of oak spices.

    Winemaker Jeffrey Stambor blended the young Merlot wines together, choosing from different Napa Valley terroirs to create a graceful, balanced blend with layers of complex flavors. He added a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon to enhance the Merlot's structure.

    Critical Acclaim

    Beaulieu Vineyard

    Beaulieu Vineyard

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    Beaulieu Vineyard, , California
    Beaulieu Vineyard
    The deep roots of Beaulieu Vineyard were first planted back in 1900, when founder Georges de Latour noticed similarities with his native Bordeaux and declared the Napa Valley ideal for winemaking. Planting vineyards in Rutherford with grafted, phylloxera-resistent French vines, the Cabernet Sauvignon that de Latour crafted from these grapes gave the world a taste of California's promise as a world-class winemaking region. In 1938, de Latour hired the young Russian-French enologist, Andre Tchelistcheff. Today, Beaulieu continues to turn to innovative practices. Most recently, they completed a new state-of-the-art winery within one of their original buildings. The Georges de Latour Private Reserve Winery utilizes the latest technology in combination with time-honored traditions for the production of this exceptional wine.

    One of the most iconic regions of Italy for wine, scenery, and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simply to complex and age-worthy, as well as in price from budget-friendly to ultra-premium, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano trailing far behind. Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines are produced in their respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, with the hillside locations hosting the best vines, as Sangiovese ripens most efficiently with maximum exposure to sunlight.

    Sangiovese at its simplest, often carrying a regional designation of Chianti or just Italy, produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. In top-quality Sangiovese-based wines, expressive notes of sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise, tobacco smoke, and cured meat fill the glass. Brunello in particular is sensitive to vintage variation, performing best in years that are not too hot and not too cold. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, or Syrah, often grown in Tuscany’s Bolgheri region, with or without Sangiovese. These tend to be big, bold, and modern in style, often with noticeable new oak, and sold at super-premium prices.

    Montepulciano

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    SWS5212_2005 Item# 100331

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