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Sebastiani Merlot 2005

Merlot from Sonoma County, California
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Winemaker Notes

In the glass, this Merlot is very darkly colored garnet and violet. This concentration is carried through to the palate, where the long growing season lends a unique blend of ripe black cherry, plum and blueberry, balanced by notes of green tea and bay leaf.

This vintage is very fruit-forward and accessible, although the smooth, velvety tannins promise that it can age well for several years. A finish of sweet oak, baking chocolate and blackberry lingers on the palate, making the Merlot easy to pair with salmon, tomato-based sauces and grilled meats.

Critical Acclaim

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Sebastiani

Sebastiani

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Sebastiani, , California
Sebastiani
With over a century of winemaking experience in Sonoma, Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery focuses on crafting small lots of super-premium wines from the great growing regions of Sonoma County, becoming one of California’s most highly praised and awarded wineries for its Bordeaux and Burgundian varietals.

With the spotlight on single vineyards and specific sub-appellations such as Sonoma Valley, Alexander Valley, Carneros and Russian River Valley, Sebastiani produces wine under the Sonoma County, Appellation Selection and Proprietary Selection designations. Founded in 1904 by Samuele Sebastiani, the winery is best known for its Cherryblock Cabernet Sauvignon, one of Sonoma County's most coveted wines. The winery is located just blocks from Sonoma's historic downtown plaza and offers historical tours as well as extensive picnic grounds and hospitality venues.

Sonoma Coast

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A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs from the San Pablo Bay to the Mendocino County border. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the “true” Sonoma Coast, marked by high rainfall, marine soils, cool temperatures, and saline ocean breezes, from which one can actually see the ocean—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, creating a diversity of wine styles. Contained within the appellation is the much smaller and more focused Fort Ross-Seaview AVA.

Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah, with high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and fruit that is rarely overripe. One of the most favorable sites within the region is the Petaluma Gap, where a break in the coastal mountain range allows Pacific winds and fog to funnel through and cool the vineyards.

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.

WWB09240_2005 Item# 95558

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