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BV Century Cellars Merlot 2009

Merlot from California
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    Winemaker Notes

    True to its varietal character, the wine opens with vibrant red-fruit aromas and sweet baking spices. The palate is smooth and supple, with bright acidity and refined tannins. Raspberries and ripe cherry flavors are met by a sweet oak finish. Pair this approachable wine with a variety of dishes, including roasted pork loin or oven-baked chicken.

    Critical Acclaim

    BV Century Cellars

    BV Century Cellars

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    BV Century Cellars, , California
    BV Century Cellars
    Beaulieu Vineyard was named by Fernande de Latour, the wife of BV founder Georges de Latour. Georges purchased the property in 1900 and surprised Fernande by bringing her to the spot that would eventually be the birthplace of one of California's premiere wineries. One look and Fernande was in heaven - she exclaimed "Beaulieu!" which means "beautiful place" in French. That is how BV or Beaulieu Vineyard got its name.

    Fernande's famous hospitality and Georges de Latour's entrepreneurial spirit are how the BV winery gained its reputation. Fernande would be sure that if she hosted anyone in her home, she would always greet the guest with a glass of wine at the door. Georges, on the other hand, was out and about town and was quickly becoming a highly respected figure in the California wine industry. In 1902, the opportunity to purchase more property was presented to him by his neighbor and he bought and planted 127 acres, conveniently located right next to his home.

    By 1911, Georges was already garnering attention for his work. This is a quote from the St. Helena Star in May 1911, "When it comes to quality, California is greatly indebted to Mr. G. de Latour, of Rutherford, who for some years has imported hundreds of thousands of the choicest French grafted wines, which have been planted in all the important vineyards in the state."

    Napa Valley

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    One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

    Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

    Sauvignon Blanc

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    A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon Blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. A couple of commonalities always exist, however—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and is important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand and California, while Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon Blanc. High-quality Sauvignon Blanc is also produced in Washington State, Australia, and parts of northern Italy.

    In the Glass

    From its homeland in the Loire Valley, where citrus, flinty, and smoky flavors shine through in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, to Marlborough, New Zealand, where it is pungent, racy, and “green” (think grass, leaves, gooseberries, and bell peppers) and tastes of grapefruit and passionfruit, Sauvignon Blanc has something to offer every wine drinker. In Bordeaux, it is typically blended with Sémillon and Muscadelle to produce a softer, richer style. In California, any of the aforementioned styles can be emulated.

    Perfect Pairings

    The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor—from bell pepper and cut grass to passionfruit, gooseberry, and ripe kiwi lend it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood, and mild Asian dishes. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like goat cheese and asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.

    Sommelier Secret

    Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (an herbaceous aromatic compound) inherent to each member of the family.

    SOU68546_2009 Item# 110191

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