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Foley Johnson Estate Rutherford Meritage 2014

Bordeaux Red Blends from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
  • RP92
  • WS92
750ML / 15.4% ABV
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  • W&S92
  • WS91
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4.1 13 Ratings
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4.1 13 Ratings
750ML / 15.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#100 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2018

The 2014 Estate Meritage Red is a 100% estate blend consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and small amounts of Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. It’s deep and concentrated in color mirroring the intense black fruit aromatics on the nose. The palate is delicate and smooth with flavors of blackberry, plum, and violet that are complemented by clove, and a hint of smoky vanilla. The estate fruit shines on the finish in this smooth and supple blend for a balanced and more complex Napa wine.

Blend: 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 7% Malbec, 6% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Their 2014 Proprietary Red Meritage is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and the rest Malbec and Cabernet Franc. It is another striking value among the stratospherically priced wines of Napa. More floral than its counterpart, with more uplifted aromatics, but similar weight and richness, this full-bodied, pure, ripe, delicious and complex wine has attractive aromatics, medium to full body and velvety tannins. Drink it over the next 10-12 years.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Bordeaux-like, offering an expansive mix of currant, cedar, cigar box, riverbed and tobacco leaf flavors. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2020 through 2032.
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Foley Johnson

Foley Johnson

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Foley Johnson, California
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For years, Bill Foley and his wife, Carol Johnson Foley, had dreamt of opening a winery bearing their name in Napa Valley. They both enjoyed the grandeur of Napa’s scenery and the rhythm of its lifestyle, and, more importantly, the couple loved the opulence and complexity of Napa’s wines. With the launch of Foley Johnson in 2012, the Foleys have created a world-class winery with premier vineyards and a historic tasting room right in the heart of America’s preeminent winegrowing region.

Located along Highway 29 in the prestigious Rutherford AVA, Foley Johnson exemplifies the understated elegance and casual warmth of the Valley. The winery produces two tiers of wines: Napa Valley and Handmade. The Napa Valley tier focuses on Bordeaux varieties from the nearly 50 acres of estate vineyards around the winery in Rutherford. The Handmade tier features special small-lot bottlings from some of the renowned winemakers in the Foley Family Wines group of wineries including Dave Lattin of Kuleto, Leslie Renaud of Lincourt, Paul Warson of Firestone, Mark Lyon of Sebastiani and Lisa Bishop Forbes of Chalk Hill.

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Rutherford

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The Rutherford sub-region of Napa Valley centers on the town of Rutherford and covers some of Napa Valley’s finest vineyard real estate, spanning from the Mayacamas in the west, to the Vaca Mountains on the other side of the valley.

Inside of the Rutherford AVA, bordering the Mayacamas, is a stretch of uplands called the Rutherford Bench. (These bench lands technically run the length of Oakville as well). Mountain runoff creates deep, well-drained, alluvial soils on the bench, giving vine roots plenty of reason to permeate deep into the ground. The result is wine with great structure and complexity.

Rutherford Cabernet Sauvingons and Bordeaux Blends garner substantial attention for their enticing fragrances of dusty earth and dried herbs, broad and juicy mid-palates and lush and fine-grained tannins. The sub-appellation claims some of the valley’s most prized vineyards today, namely Caymus, Rubicon and Beckstoffer Georges III.

It is also home to Napa’s most influential and historic personalities. Thomas Rutherford, responsible for the appellation's name, made serious investments here in grape growing and wine production between the years of 1850 to 1880. Gustave Niebaum purchased a large swath of land and completed his winery in 1887, calling it “Inglenook.” Today this remains the oldest bonded winery in California. Georges Latour founded Beaulieu Vineyard in 1900, making it the oldest continuous winery in the state. Latour also hired the famous enologist, André Tchelistcheff, a man credited for single-handedly defining the modern Napa winemaking style.

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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.

ALL4994245_2014 Item# 361568