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Napa Cellars Merlot 2007

Merlot from Napa Valley, California
  • WE90
  • W&S91
  • WE90
  • TP90
  • WS88
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3.8 16 Ratings
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3.8 16 Ratings

Winemaker Notes

Move south a little in the valley where the San Pablo Bay cools the vineyards in the afternoon and you have perfect Merlot weather. The majority of the Napa Cellars Merlot blend hails from these cooler regions in Napa Valley, such as Oak Knoll and Carneros. This wine is classic Napa Valley Merlot with a deep ruby-red color; aromas of tart red cherry with hints of black tea and cinnamon-vanilla spice join the supple tannins on the palate.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast

A great buy in a smooth, dry Merlot that shows real Napa elegance and style. It's medium-bodied and lush, with appealing cherry, currant, licorice, tobacco, mocha and spice flavors. Drink now for immediate appeal.

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Napa Cellars

Napa Cellars

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Napa Cellars, , California
Napa Cellars
Founded by Rich Frank and Koerner Rombauer in 1996, this warm and casual tasting room is the perfect first or last stop for any visitor to Napa. Conveniently located on Highway 29, the friendly tasting staff encourages wine novices and connoisseurs alike to try their well-worth-the price Napa Valley wines. Napa Cellars winemaker Todd Graff produces a Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, as well as limited amounts of Syrah, Sparkling Rose, Late Harvest Zinfandel and Late Harvest Semillon, all bearing the Napa Valley designation.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more 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’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based 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. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

SOU287912_2007 Item# 104663

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