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Bedell Cellars Merlot 2000

Merlot from New York
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    Winemaker Notes

    The 1999 Bedell Merlot begins with hints of cocoa, spice and berry flavors on the nose. A first taste confirms the vibrant flavors of cherry, blackberry, raspberry and cola. Soft, yet firm tannins give the wine structure, and a long, deep finish positions this Merlot as an exceptional food wine . . . a wonderful companion to lamb shanks, venison noisettes and grilled tuna steaks.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Bedell Cellars

    Bedell Cellars

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    Bedell Cellars, New York
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    Bedell Cellars is a boutique farm winery and vineyard located in the small hamlet of Cutchogue, on the North Fork of Long Island. The North Fork is a narrow strip of land wedged between the Long Island Sound to the north, and the Peconic Bay to the south. This proximity to water, and our latitude combine to create a maritime "micro-climate" which provides optimum growing conditions for grapes. It is said to be similar to that of Bordeaux, France.

    Cutchogue currently is the center of the North Fork's increasingly renowned wine industry. Prior to the 1970's the North Fork mainly produced potatoes, cauliflower and fruit. Now, almost 2000 acres are planted in wine grapes, with more acreage being planted daily. Vineyards help keep our fork the uniquely scenic, serene, rural, agricultural maritime area it is.

    The vineyard and winery were established in 1980 by Kip and Susan Bedell with the planting of seven acres. The vineyard has since expanded to thirty-two acres planted with the following varieties: Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier and Petite Verdot.

    On August 10, 2000 Michael Lynne became the new owner of Bedell Cellars. Mr. Lynne and Kip Bedell, who remains the winemaker, will continue to work closely together focusing entirely on quality. Mr. Lynne is an avid wine enthusiast and president of New Line Cinema.

    New York

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    Increasingly garnering widespread and well-deserved attention, New York ranks third in wine production in the United States (after California and Washington). Divided into six AVAs—the Finger Lakes, Lake Erie, Hudson River, Long Island, Champlain Valley of New York and the Niagara Escarpment, which crosses over into Michigan as well as Ontario, Canada—the state experiences varied climates, but in general summers are warm and humid while winters are very cold and can carry the risk of frost well into the growing season.

    The Finger Lakes region has long been responsible for some of the country’s finest Riesling, and is gaining traction with elegant, light-bodied Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. Experimentation with cold-hardy European varieties is common, and recent years have seen the successful planting of grapes like Grüner Veltliner and Saperavi (from the Eastern European country of Georgia). Long Island, on the other hand, has a more maritime climate influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, and shares some viticultural characteristics with Bordeaux. Accordingly, the best wines here are made from Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The Niagara Escarpment is responsible for excellent ice wines, usually made from the hybrid variety, Vidal.

    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.

    LAU110840700_2000 Item# 63065