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Hayman & Hill Napa Valley Merlot 2005

Merlot from Napa Valley, California
  • WE90
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Winemaker Notes

Napa Valley is the king of Californian wine regions, and arguably the king of Merlot. The diverse region is picture perfect at any time of the year and is always a hive of viticultural and winemaking activity. The moderate climate and even ripening conditions are enjoyed by everyone - from the smallest vineyard plots to sprawling, high-pedigree estates.

Dark plum and cherry aromas are edged with notes of licorice, and unfold gradually to subtle, smoky oak. Soft and luscious on entry, with bright, almost sweet flavors of ripe stone fruit. The medium weight and stylish finish are typical of Napa Valley's finest Merlot.

The full blend of this merlot wine was matured in a variety of oak for fourteen months: American barrels makes up 60% of the aging process, French oak is 20% and Central European oak is 20%.

"Smooth and dry, this Merlot seems designed to stand alongside food, rather than try and be a food group of its own. It has an earthy, herbaceous quality, with suggestions of cherries and red currants, and a rich scour of tannins. All that gives it a real Bordeaux quality."
-Wine Enthusiast

Critical Acclaim

WE 90
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Hayman & Hill

Hayman & Hill

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Hayman & Hill, , California
Hayman & Hill
With this brand, David Hayman and Dennis Hill have utilized their collective experience, working with growers to craft wine from the most prestigious California wine regions. Convinced that they could source grapes from the best California appellations, David and Dennis have utilized resources at their disposal to make top notch, single varietal, appellation designated wines.

This portfolio of fine wines speaks to their passion of making wines for a label worthy of their respective surnames, Hayman & Hill. David Hayman enjoys seventeen years of strong international winemaking experience. He spent five years overseeing production across eleven Hardys wineries throughout Australia, and currently serves as Blackstone Winery’s Senior Vice President of Operations, overseeing all California winemaking operations. Dennis Hill has over twenty five years of winemaking experience with many leading Sonoma wineries. In 1994, Dennis joined the Blackstone Winery and for the past nine years, has delivered a wine profile that strikes a chord with consumers. Dennis is the Chief Winemaker for the Blackstone Winery and works in Sonoma County.

The Hayman & Hill Winemaker’s Collection was released in October, 2003. It is comprised of a selection of reserve wines from best known appellations with individual selection numbers.

Santa Barbara

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With a dry and mild climate cooled significantly by breezy ocean fog, Santa Barbara County is a grape-grower’s dream. Part of the larger Central Coast appellation, Santa Barbara is home to six separate AVAs—Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and its four sub-AVAs Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District, and Happy Canyon. The conditions here provide an opportunity for nearly effortless production of high-quality cool-climate wines. This is also the site of the 2004 film Sideways, which caused Pinot Noir’s popularity to skyrocket and brought new acclaim to the region.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of Santa Barbara, marked by trademark racy acidity, crisp Sauvignon Blanc, and savory Syrah. The region is also home to many young and enthusiastic winemakers eager to experiment with less common varieties including Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Trousseau Gris, Gamay, and Cabernet Franc, making it an exciting area to watch.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

CLW892552_2005 Item# 95107

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