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Purple Cowboy Night Rider Merlot 2011

Merlot from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    13.4% ABV
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    13.4% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Teeth-staining dark red with hints of purple. Dazzling aromasof crushed black cherries and plums with rose petal, cola and a hint of smoked caramel. Mouth-filling flavors of cherry pie and cassis with silky, cocoa powder tannins on the long finish. Smooth and full-bodied.

    Try with slow-cooked, smoky barbeque, chili, chicken-friedsteak, long-simmered pinto beans, Texas-style Coq au Vin and all your other favorite foods at home on the range.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Purple Cowboy

    Purple Cowboy

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    Purple Cowboy, , California
    Purple Cowboy
    The grapes for Purple Cowboy come primarily from Paso Robles, the largest appellation in San Luis Obispo County on California’s famed Central Coast. Over the years, Paso Robles was known for producing structured Cabernet Sauvignon. More recently, a group of winemakers known as the Rhone Rangers has garnered attention with Syrah, a grape well-suited to this warmer region. The Paso Robles AVA is sometimes called Cowboy Wine Country, a reference to its historic identity as a ranching and farming area. Daytime temperatures often top 90 Degrees, but in the evening the vines are cooled by fog cascading down the eastern slope of the Santa Lucia range which separates Paso from the Pacific Coast. Purple Cowboy is sourced from the eastern half of the AVA which is warmer, drier and typically produces full-bodied wines with rich fruit character, soft tannins and balanced acidity.

    Dundee Hills

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    Pinot Noir

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    One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

    In the Glass

    Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

    Perfect Pairings

    Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

    Sommelier Secret

    Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

    CGM17668_2011 Item# 125793

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