Joseph Carr Merlot 2013
After a decade serving as a world-class sommelier followed by another decade as an international industry executive, Joseph Carr set out on his own 2005 to form his family-owned wine company. It was, as Joseph Carr says, “a chance to follow a dream.”
Joseph Carr employs a European sensibility in winemaking that emphasizes balance, complexity, and elegance to produce high-quality, handcrafted, ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay. Joseph Carr sources fruit from the finest vineyards in Northern California’s most prestigious appellations—St. Helena, Rutherford, Stags Leap District, Alexander Valley, and Sonoma Coast AVAs—but remains dedicated to offering exceptional value.
In 2010 Carr joined forces with Aaron Pott, one of Napa’s most respected and sought-after winemakers. Aaron has made wine for a host of high-scoring, cult Napa wineries like Blackbird, Quixote, Quintessa, and Seven Stones. Between the 2005 and 2013 vintages, he scored 90+ points 84 times and 93-96 points 35 times from Wine Spectator or Wine Advocate. In 2012, Food & Wine names Aaron Winemaker of the Year.
Leveraging close relationships with top Napa vineyard owners and growers, Aaron Pott is able to buy lots from top producers at a fraction of their usual price – as long as he doesn’t reveal the sources. This is the secret behind Aaron’s ability to craft wines showcasing a degree of finesse, balance, and structure usually reserved for wines well over $100, but that Joseph Carr makes available for around $20.
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.