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Fisher Vineyards RCF Merlot 2001

Merlot from Sonoma County, California
  • WS90
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Winemaker Notes

"A rich, plush, remarkably complex wine, with a pretty medley of plum and blackberry; touches of herb and light cedary oak; and ripe fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2007."
-Wine Spectator

The RCF vineyard consistently produces a smooth, structured and unique Merlot. Firm tannins are derived from small Bordeaux barrels and a touch of the Lamb Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon used to top the barrels.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
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Fisher Vineyards

Fisher Vineyards

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Fisher Vineyards, Sonoma County, California
2001 RCF Merlot
Founded in 1973 by Fred and Juelle Fisher, the winery is nestled at the 1500-foot elevation on the western face of the Mayacamas Mountains between the Napa and Sonoma Valleys and home to their Wedding Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and Whitney's Vineyard Chardonnay. Their Coach Insignia Cabernet, Lamb Vineyard Cabernet and RCF Vineyard Merlot come from their estate on the Silverado Trail in the Napa Valley. It is from these two sites that the winery strives to fulfill their mission of producing world class Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

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. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, 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 and Cabernet Franc.

YNG279123_2001 Item# 75479

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