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Santa Ema Reserve Merlot 2009

Merlot from Chile
  • RP89
13.5% ABV
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Currently Unavailable $17.99
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep violet-ruby-red, this Merlot is a very fruity wine with aromas of plums, blackberries, and black currant accompanied by intense notes of caramel, chocolate, and vanilla. It has soft, ripe tannins that lend good structure and balance on the palate.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 89
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Reserve Merlot (100%) was aged in French and American oak for 8 months. It offers up an aromatic array of cinnamon, clove, incense, tobacco, black currant, and blackberry. In the glass it reveals layered fruit, spicy flavors, good volume, and excellent balance. This surprisingly rich Merlot can be approached now and will provide pleasure for another 4-5 years. It is an excellent value.
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Santa Ema

Santa Ema

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Santa Ema, , South America
Santa Ema
Over the years, Santa Ema has been recognized by the most important national and international organizations and has earned numerous medals in competitions such as the Concours Mundial de Bruxelles and distinctions in the prestigious international trade magazines. It was recently added to Wine Spectator's list of Top 20 World's Finest Value Brands, Wine Advocate rated four Santa Ema wines above 90 points, and Wine & Spirits named it Value Winery of the Year. But for Santa Ema, the most important distinction of all is the preference of its consumers around the world to appreciate the work of three generations dedicated to the production of consistently high quality wines.

Horse Heaven Hills

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"Surely this is Horse Heaven!”

Its wide prairies and rolling expanses led an early pioneer to proclaim that the region looked like “horse heaven,” and as a result, the area was appropriately named. Horse Heaven Hills is in south central Washington state, geographically bound on its northern border by the Yakima River and in the south, by the larger Columbia River.

Its proximity to the Columbia River contributes to a variety of climactic factors that dramatically affect its grapes. In particular, an increase in wind from changes in pressure along the river, which flows from the cool and wet Pacific Ocean, inland to Washington’s hot and arid plains, creates 30% more wind than there would be otherwise. These winds moderate temperatures, which protect against mold and rot, reduce the risk of early and late season frosts, diminish canopy size and toughen grape skins.

The vineyards bordering the river are on steep, south-facing, well-exposed slopes, with well-drained, sandy-loam soils. But the soils of the appellation are diverse throughout, ranging from wind-blown sand and loess, Missoula Flood sediment, and rocky basalt. Horse Heaven Hills has an arid continental climate with elevations ranging from 200 to 1,800 feet.

The first vines of the appellation were planted in 1972 in an optimal spot now referred to as the Champoux Vineyard. Today it remains the source of some of Washington’s most desirable and expensive Cabernet Sauvignons. In fact, the appellation as a whole boasts many of Washington’s top scoring wines. Its primary grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Riesling.

Riesling

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. This versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling, and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes in New York.

In the Glass

Riesling is low in alcohol, with high acidity, steely minerality, and stone fruit, spice, citrus, and floral notes. At its ripest it leans towards juicy peach and nectarine, and pineapple, while in cooler climes it is more redolent of meyer lemon, lime, and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of gasoline.

Perfect Pairings

Riesling is very versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice), and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

CGM565183_2009 Item# 117044

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