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Merryvale Silhouette Chardonnay 1999

Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
  • WE93
  • W&S92
0% ABV
  • RP94
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • WE93
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • WS88
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Sihouette is Merryvales most lavish Chardonnay -- a combination of Napa ripeness and Burgundian complexity. This wine was selected barrel-by-barrel from our finest Napa Valley Chardonnay lots. The vineyards are planted predominantly with old Wente vine selections that produce low yields and concentrated, intensely flavored fruit. Each lot was fermented in a majority of new French oak barrels from our favorite Burgundian coopers. Some of the wine was fermented with native yeast, a method that accentuates the richness of the wines mouthfeel. The wine is rich and complex with a long silky, toasty oak finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
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Merryvale

Merryvale Vineyards

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Merryvale Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
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Merryvale Vineyards is a family-owned Napa Valley winery dedicated to passionate winemaking and the fine art of living well. For the past 25 years Merryvale has been turning exceptional Napa Valley grapes into world class wine. Merryvale is world renowned for rich, powerful Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, the iconic Bordeaux-style red blend, Profile, and our everyday drinking, fruit driven brand, Starmont. Merryvale's historic building was the first winery built in the Napa Valley after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, and has become a must see attraction for visitors to the valley.

Merryvale is committed to protecting and preserving the environment through conservation, renewable energy and sustainable farming practices at our three estate vineyards. Merryvale has received Napa Green Vineyard, Napa Green Winery and Bay Area Green Business certifications.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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 is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy 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. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

WWI116756_1999 Item# 46836