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Groth Merlot 1999

Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    0% ABV
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    Winemaker Notes

    Vintage: Cool! Long! As with the 1998 vintage, these two words help describe the harvest of 1999. Due to coolness during the spring and much of the summer, the grapes retained much of their acidity allowing us to let the grapes hang until true ripeness occured. A brief heat wave in July rounded out the need for heat to soften and develop the color and tannins we need for fine wines. Overall, the vintage appears to be producing flavorful, crisp wines in smaller quantities (down 20-30%) compared to average yields.

    Winemaker Notes: Historically, Merlot was bottled only when enough remained after blending with our Cabernet Sauvignon. With our newer vineyards finally coming on-stream we are now able to consistently produce a reasonable quantity to bottle. You will find that this Merlot is made in a full, rich, robust style that can continue to age gracefully for 5-10 years.

    Menu Suggestions: The intense black cherry flavors of the 1999 Merlot will go beautifully with any red meat. The fat content in lamb, beef, sausages, even buffalo, will help to control the tannin in a very young wine. Pasta with a red sauce, pizza, and burgers are all enhanced by the spicy aromas and good balance of fruit and oak flavors.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Groth

    Groth Vineyards & Winery

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    Groth Vineyards & Winery, Napa Valley, California
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    Groth Vineyards & Winery is a family owned winery producing Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon since 1982. They sustainably farm 121 acres of vineyards creating a better wine for today, and for future generations.

    Michael Weis, winemaker at Groth Vineyards & Winery since 1994, brings more than three decades of experience with Oakville grapes and wines to the job of nurturing the best possible expression of the vineyards.

    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.

    NDV351125_1999 Item# 50477