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Hawk Crest Merlot 2005

Merlot from California
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    Winemaker Notes

    A delicious wine rich in aromas and flavors of plumy fruit and savory notes of baked cinnamon and vanilla spice. The copious fruit flavors are supported by soft, supple tannins that yield slowly to a long finish. Enjoy this medium-bodied Merlot with lentil soup, eggplant Parmesan, or a Thai beef salad.

    Critical Acclaim

    Hawk Crest

    Hawk Crest

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    Hawk Crest, , California
    Hawk Crest
    Stag's Leap Wine Cellars has produced Hawk Crest wines since 1974 with an eye towards crafting approachable, fruit-forward wines of high quality and great value. Over the years the Hawk Crest winemaking team has carefully selected specific vineyards in some of California's most promising growing areas. Just 15 miles north of Napa Valley, Red Hill Lake County is the primary source of fruit for the well-structured, food-friendly Cabernet Sauvignon. The Santa Lucia Highlands and greater Monterey County are the source for the Chardonnay, and the richly textured Merlot is sourced from Paso Robles.

    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.

    Chardonnay

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    One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

    In the Glass

    When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

    Perfect Pairings

    Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

    Sommelier Secret

    Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

    SWS40156_2005 Item# 94968

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