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Mietz Cellars Merlot 1999

Merlot from Sonoma County, California
    0% ABV
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    Winemaker Notes

    1999 was a unique vintage. The crop was small. Generally the weather was very cool but with a blast of heat, over 100 degrees, in early June. The effect of the heat was not evident until harvest when raisins appeared in the clusters of the ripening grapes. I haven't seen anything like this in 20 years of growing merlot. It made for interesting wine making. The raisining turned out to be positive in that it produced a wine unusual for merlot, with sweet, spicy, fruity characteristics.

    The fruit was crushed with a warm fermentation (86-90 degrees) in open topped fermenters. It was fermented with wild and cultured yeast. After a 7-10 day fermentation-maceration, the wine was gently pressed and put into 75% French and 25% American oak barrels. This vintage was only aged for 14 months to preserve the fruit and cut down on the woodiness. The wine is unfined and unfiltered.

    Tasting Notes : This wine is medium bodied, with a beautiful deep ruby color and mouth filling ripe tannins. In the nose the wine projects sweet-spicy and fruit based aromatics with raspberry. On the palate the feel is mouth filling and concentrated, with an acidity that is persistent. The 1999 merlot exhibits a spectrum of flavors ranging from brown spices to raspberry fruit flavors.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Mietz Cellars

    Mietz Cellars

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    Mietz Cellars, Sonoma County, California
    Mietz Cellars is a small winery located at 602 Limerick Lane just south of Healdsburg, California. It's owned and run by Keith and Nancy Mietz, and their son Andrew has recently joined the business.

    Their approach to wine making lies in the axiom, "Wines are made in the vineyard." We put this axiom to practice when we purchased an old, neglected vineyard in 1978. In working with the old vines we were able to absorb the nature of the terroir.

    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 every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous 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, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. 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.

    LIM243440799_1999 Item# 54993