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Jefferson Meritage 2001

Bordeaux Red Blends from Virginia
    0% ABV
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    Winemaker Notes

    Each varietal offers an interesting dimension to the overall blend: the base of Cabernet Sauvignon offers earthiness, cassis and chocolate flavors; the Cabernet Franc adds a fruit component of raspberry and cherry and the deep rich flavors of the Merlot add roundness to the finish. All of these flavors incorporate elegantly with the oak to bring out a true Bordeaux-style red wine that will improve over the next five to ten years.

    Alcohol: 12.8% by volume

    Critical Acclaim

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    Jefferson

    Jefferson Vineyards

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    Jefferson Vineyards, Virginia
    In 1774, Thomas Jefferson convinced an Italian winemaker, Filippo Mazzei, to move onto land adjoining Jefferson's home, Monticello, located in Charlottesville, Virginia. At Jefferson's urging, Mazzei agreed to grow European vinifera wines, and he soon produced two barrels of wine from six of the best varieties of wild grapes. Upon sampling his creation, Mazzei was very pleased with Virginia's grapes and soil. He found Virginia land to be superior to that of Italy: "In my opinion, when the country is populated in proportion to its extent, the best wine in the world will be made here...I do not believe that nature is so favorable to growing vines in any country as this."

    In 1981, on the same land that Mazzei first planted his vines, Jefferson Vineyards was established, fulfilling a vision conceived some 200 years earlier. Today, Jefferson Vineyards produces numerous award-winning wines on 650 acres of historic land high atop the Monticello Appelation.

    Virginia

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    Diversity of landscape, terrain and climate make Virginia one of the most exciting American wine producing states today. Its viticultural history reaches as far back as 1607 when early settlers made the first wine from indigenous American grapes.

    Thomas Jefferson imported the first French varieties to Virginia and grew the Vitis vinifera species (the European species), though not with great success.

    Today, however, increased knowledge and optimal vineyard management techniques bring prosperity with a great number of diverse varieties. Virginia’s varied landscape has created seven distinct AVAs (American Viticultural Areas).

    Encouraged by an enthusiastic state government, fine wine production in Virginia continues to flourish. The state achieves success with a variety of wine types and styles including sparkling wines, Bordeaux Blends, Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, Viognier and less common whites like Petit Manseng and Vermentino.

    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/or 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 can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can 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, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

    DIM71441_2001 Item# 73898