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Episode 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • WE95
14.4% ABV
  • WE91
  • WE94
  • WS90
  • WE94
  • WE90
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14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The pinnacle wine for Terlato Vineyards, Episode stands shoulder to shoulder with the very best Bordeaux Blends in the world. The Terlato family makes this Bordeaux blend of classic varietals from the best Napa Valley fruit. Made with a focus on quality from select fruit that meets the highest standards, Episode stands out as truly elegant wine—a classic.

The wine is a deep ruby color, with dark brooding fruit and layers of anise and dark chocolate. On the palate, it is rich, with a velvety structure and incredible lingering finish.

Blend: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
Terlato’s focus on Bordeaux-style red wines has paid off in the last several vintages, and this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot continues the success streak. It has ripe, spicy flavors of blackberry jam, black currant and sweet, toasty oak, and the tannin-acid structure is balanced. Still, it’s an astringent wine that needs time in the cellar, so give it at least eight years. It could age well beyond that.
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Episode

Episode

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Episode, Napa Valley, California
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For Terlato Wine Group Chairman Anthony J. Terlato, one of life's richest luxuries is orchestrating a well-prepared meal for his close friends; cooking together, laughing and talking about things they enjoy in common, and, of course, choosing a wine that will get their attention.

This ideal was Terlato's inspiration for Episode, a wine that would stand alongside the best he had tasted during his 50 years in the luxury wine business; a wine that he would proudly serve at a luxurious dinner.

The result is EPISODE, a personal expression of a luxury wine. The Terlato family personally selects 1 1/2 acres from their 600+ acre holdings in Napa Valley and produces 400 cases of a wine with power, finesse, elegance and longevity.

EPISODE is a blend of the classic Bordeaux grapes, grown from the very best Napa Valley fruit including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Anthony Terlato and Doug Fletcher, who oversees all aspects of winemaking at the Terlato properties, taste numerous blends selecting the precise combination for each vintage.

EPISODE meets the very highest standards of the family providing oenophiles and collectors with a wine to be treasured.

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 1960s, 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 1980s, 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 are 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.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

BUS124319_2009 Item# 124319