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Emmolo Merlot 2015

Merlot from Napa Valley, California
  • WW91
0% ABV
  • WW92
  • JS90
  • WW95
  • RP92
  • TP92
  • JS91
  • JS93
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4.4 43 Ratings
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4.4 43 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Grapes for this wine were sourced from Napa Valley’s Oak Knoll district, which includes two family vineyards. The area's cooler weather, along with crop thinning and gravelly light soil, creates ideal conditions for producing a rich, distinctive Merlot. This wine is lush and supple on the palate, with expansive, dark berry flavors, a fresh earthiness, and smooth, leathery tannins.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 91
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
Showing substantial depth, the 2015 Emmolo Merlot stands out as a rather "bigger" example of this grape variety. The wine exhibits an attractive combination of red and blue fruits, with a streak of oak and dried leaves. Pair it with a grilled Porterhouse steak. (Tasted: August 25, 2017, San Francisco, CA)
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Emmolo

Emmolo

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Emmolo, Napa Valley, California
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Jenny Wagner has taken the reins of Emmolo (m – oh – low) Winery from her mother, Cheryl Emmolo, the owner and founder of this lovely Rutherford estate.

Jenny Wagner's family has a long-standing history in Napa Valley beginning with her great-grandfather, Italian immigrant, Salvatore Emmolo, who planted grapevines and started a grapevine rootstock nursery in Rutherford in the 1920s. He grew and sold phylloxera-resistant vines – the same "resistant" vines that saved the wine industry from the devastating vinifera louse of the late 19th century. His son, Frank Emmolo, ran Emmolo Nursery and built a strong following among Napa Valley grape growers, becoming the leading supplier to Napa Valley vintners for five decades.

After becoming established grape growers, the Emmolos opened up Palermo Winery in 1934, named after the city from which they emigrated. The winery operated for less than a decade, closing due to the public's lack of interest in wine. As things worked out, the family sustained the land over the years and tossed their hat into the ring again, with Cheryl Emmolo establishing the building as Emmolo Winery. Now Jenny Wagner will continue the family legacy of farming vines and making Emmolo wine in the original winery built by her great grandfather in 1934.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960's, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those is the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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.

PIN476665_2015 Item# 275695