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Clos Pegase Mitsuko's Vineyard Merlot 2006

Merlot from Carneros, California
  • CG90
14.4% ABV
  • W&S93
  • WE94
  • RP87
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14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This deeply colored wine shows intense aromas of blackberry syrup, framed by hints of baker's spices, vanilla, licorice and toast. In the mouth, the wine has concentrated bright forward-fruit supported by textural richness and mid-palate volume together with a lengthy dark chocolate-dominated finish.

75% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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CG 90
Connoisseurs' Guide
Deep and well-extracted red cherry fruit scents with a soupçon of roasted bread and a veneer of crème brûlée richness added in for good measure, this wine is attractive from the outset. Supple to start on the palate with a plush early texture, it firms up towards the back and makes good use of late-arriving tightness for a bit of grip and up to a half decade of ageworthiness. It can be tried at any point but will soften with rest.
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Clos Pegase

Clos Pegase

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Clos Pegase, Carneros, California
Image of winery
Completed in 1987, Clos Pegase was designed to be a temple to wine on a 47 acre Calistoga vineyard. The winery has a total of 450 acres, mostly located in Carneros. The Clos Pegase label features Pegasus, painted circa 1890 by the French artist Redon. This painting is winery owner Jan Shrem's favorite work of art from his extensive private collection.

Carneros

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Known for elegant wines that combine power and finesse, Carneros is set in the rolling hills that straddle the southernmost parts of both Sonoma and Napa counties. The cooling winds from the abutting San Pablo Bay, combined with lots of midday California sunshine, create an ideal environment for producing wines with a perfect balance of crisp acidity and well-ripened fruit.

This cooler pocket of California lends itself to growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Carneros is an important source of sparkling wines made in the style of Champagne as well.

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.

YNG134522_2006 Item# 109644