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Rombauer Merlot 2015

Merlot from Napa Valley, California
  • WW91
  • WS90
14.5% ABV
  • WS91
  • WW91
  • WS90
  • WW90
  • WS89
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4.4 5 Ratings
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4.4 5 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Aromas of fresh, ripe blueberries, ripe plum and black currant intertwine with notes of cedar, vanilla and pie crust. This medium-bodied wine is plush with flavors of plums, blueberries and figs upfront, leading to juicy red fruit on the midpalate. Delicious now, its depth and structure provide long cellaring potential.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 91
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: Top Napa Valley Merlots are sometimes hard to locate. Oft times wineries make the wines too much like Cabernet Sauvignon resulting in strong tannin structures. The 2014 Rombauer Vineyards stays away from that trap and has, once again, produced a solid example of this grape variety. TASTING NOTES: This wine is bright and crisp with pretty red and black fruit aromas and flavors. Its subtle oak backdrop should pair it nicely with a grilled flank steak. (Tasted: March 22, 2018, San Francisco, CA)
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Finely chiseled flavors of red currant, plum and dark cherry are matched to notes of cedar and sandalwood. Offers hints of dried green herbs and beef on the finish.
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Rombauer

Rombauer Vineyards

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Rombauer Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
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Rombauer Vineyards was founded in 1982 by Koerner and Joan Rombauer and sits on a tree covered knoll overlooking the Napa Valley. The winery features caves that extend for over a mile into the hillside. The caves provide a constant temperature and humidity which result in optimum conditions for aging our wines.

Rombauer wines are consistently ranked high in the wine trade journals. Many of the finest restaurants throughout the country include Rombauer wines on their list and feature them by the glass. The joy of wine is something that's important to Rombauer. Whether you are a collector of fine wines or like to have wine with food, wine is something that truly should be enjoyed. Rombauer Vineyards puts a lot of hard work and tender care into making drinkable wines. And because wine is a simple product to enjoy, emphasis is given to taking the mystique out of enjoying fine wines.

Our emphasis on the joy of wine comes from the heritage of the Rombauer family. Koerner's ancestors made wine in the famous Rheingau region in Germany and his great aunt, Irma Rombauer, wrote the book The Joy of Cooking. Hence our focus on wine as complements to good food and good friends. Every family member is actively involved in the day to day operation of the winery from selecting grapes for the winemaking process and getting the wine to market.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of 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. But the grape also has enough stuffing to make serious, world-renowned wines. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, in St. Emilion and Pomerol, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc. On the Left Bank in the Medoc, 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 with Cabernet Franc.

PBC9286598_2015 Item# 495982