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Merus Cabernet Sauvignon 1998

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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14.9% ABV
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Currently Unavailable $149.97
Try the 2013 Vintage 159 99
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14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Only a very small amount of this wine was produced, but it quickly became legendary. Our first vintage offers qualities that have became Merus hallmarks: intense color, super-ripe flavors, layers of complexity, and beautiful texture.

Blend: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The color is intense ruby/purple. The nose offers up notes of creme de cassis and sweet black cherries, intermixed with nicely-infused toasty oak, mineral, and floral notes. The acidity seems low in this full-bodied, expressive, rich, multi-layered wine with a terrific texture and exceptional purity. This is a superb 1998, and certainly one of the finest wines of the vintage. It is also one heck of a debut wine from this small operation ... a California garage wine perhaps? Again, purity, symmetry, and intensity are hallmarks of this wine.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Dark, rich and dense, with layers of cedary currant, chocolate, black berry, mint, herb, sage and coffee, finishing with a long, complex, well-integrated aftertaste.
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Merus
Merus, Napa Valley, California
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Merus is a small, ultra luxury wine brand in the Napa Valley that creates highly-coveted wine in small quantities. Hand-made, using the finest techniques and processes, this wine has been rated as one of the country's top Cabernet Sauvignons.

Merus was started in 1998 with the mission of producing handcrafted wine of uncompromising quality and distinction. Their objective is to produce small amounts of age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Helena, Stags Leap, and Coombsville vineyards. Merus views winemaking in a conservationist light, whereby optimizing vineyard quality is the single most important factor in achieving superlative wine quality. Therefore, they have established long-term relationships with only those winegrowers willing to work within the parameters of their rigorous vineyard demands. Merus is a labor of love that truly expresses the definition of great wine in the bottle.

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 1960's, 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 1980's, 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 is 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.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

LSB209214_1998 Item# 209214