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Peachy Canyon Estate Merlot 1997

Merlot from Central Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Beautiful dark garnet color. The nose is jammy with ripe fruit, strawberry, mint and floral tones. Big in the mouth, complex flavors are combined with fruit, spice and good tannin carrying into a long aftertaste. There is a lot of power and concentration in this Estate blend. It will age well and mature in 3-5 years.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Peachy Canyon

    Peachy Canyon

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    Peachy Canyon, Central Coast, California
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    Peachy Canyon is a small, family owned winery that has gained a reputation for their highly acclaimed Zinfandels, Cabernets and Merlots. Nestled in the Santa Lucia Mountains just six miles west of Paso Robles and 14 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, the winery exemplifies the contrasts of a region which is ideally suited for growing a premium red wine grape. Pastoral and peaceful on the one hand, the vines grown in this area must struggle to succeed in meager soils stressed by daytime temperatures that soar into the hundreds and nighttime temperatures that plunge into the forties. This results in small yields of intensely flavored grapes.

    Central Coast

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    The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

    Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

    While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

    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.

    MET150296_1997 Item# 46549