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New Customers Save $30 off $100+* with code MARCHNEW30

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Provenance Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot 2003

Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    0% ABV
    • WS88
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    4.0 1 Ratings
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    4.0 1 Ratings
    0% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    We destemmed the grapes, but did not crush them. After cold soaking the grapes for two days, we added a selection of yeast to start fermentation. Careful monitoring of the fermentation, careful separation of the wine from the skins, natural clarification by gravity and age-old Bordeaux techniques that allow development for a year and a half, produced a wine that is elegant yet powerfully rich. We crafted this wine to be reflective of the vintage, varietal and this famed subappellation of Napa Valley.

    Our Carneros Merlot has a pleasing rich ruby red color. Spiced apple, exotic plum, green tea and suede leather round out the nose. The flavors are bold, bright and varietally distinctive. This pure Merlot has "the right stuff."

    Critical Acclaim

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    Provenance Vineyards

    Provenance Vineyards

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    Provenance Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
    2003 Napa Valley Merlot
    Provenance Vineyards showcases the distinctiveness of Napa Valley's best growing areas for red wines by selecting some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in the Rutherford and Oakville districts and Merlot vineyards in the Carneros district. The same uncompromising approach also characterizes Provenance winemaking, with the goal of bringing the grapes from these great vineyards to their fullest potential. Starting with its inaugural 1999 vintage, Provenance's approachable, yet cellar-worthy wines display a fine symmetry of substance and elegance.

    The word provenance means "origin" or "source." In the art world, a provenance is the record of a work’s ownership, from its creation to the present day. Connoisseurs place great importance in provenance as a guarantee of authenticity. The name reflects Provenance Vineyards' goal of creating fine wines that are works of art.

    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.

    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.

    ULL712413_2003 Item# 85817