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Lyeth L de Lyeth Merlot 2010

Merlot from Sonoma County, California
    13.5% ABV
    All Vintages
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    13.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Rich with aromas of vanilla, orange spice and red licorice, followed by subtle hints of sandalwood, bright cherries, thyme and herbs de Provence. This medium-bodied Merlot is soft and plush, with notes of sweet oak, black tea, black pepper and briary fruits. The fine tannins are nicely integrated into the wine, making it approachable upon release.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Lyeth
    Lyeth, Sonoma County, California
    Established by Chip Lyeth in 1981, Lyeth was one of the first wineries in California to pursue the unique complexity and composition achieved by the marriage of Cabernet Sauvignon with the other major Bordeaux varieties, now known as the Meritage style. The term "Meritage" (pronouced like "heritage") is a combination of the words "merit" and "heritage".

    Lyeth became a founding member of the Meritage Association in 1988, which created the Meritage concept as a means of identifying blends produced in the Bordeaux style. Today it continues the tradition of blending family and tradition in its wines, winning praise from critics and consumers worldwide.

    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.

    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. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, 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 and Cabernet Franc.

    PIN312016_2010 Item# 115351