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Rosenblum Cellars Lone Oak Merlot 1998

Merlot from Sonoma County, California
  • WS85
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

This Merlot is a fine example of the intensity that can be achieved in growing quality Merlot fruit in a cool climate in the Russian River Valley. It has a superb black cherry bouquet with evidence of chocolate cream and dark currant fruit. The flavors are soft ripe Bing cherry with evidence of caramel, currant and spice. This wine is eminently drinkable in its current youthful state, but it will cellar well for 10-12 years.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 85
Wine Spectator
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Rosenblum Cellars

Rosenblum Cellars

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Rosenblum Cellars, Sonoma County, California
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Rosenblum Cellars Winery is located in the historic Todd Shipyard Building in the City of Alameda. The picturesque building constructed around 1910 sits right at the edge of San Francisco Bay. Our view is spectacular, and the cooling bay breezes give us natural air conditioning. The grapes for our wines come from over 30 different vineyards located in Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles and Contra Costa County. Many of the vineyards are over 75 years old, head-pruned and dry farmed. The old plow on our labels symbolizes our down-to-earth and natural style of winemaking.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

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.

EBE345437_1998 Item# 38929