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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

St. Barthelemy Cellars 2003 Merlot Port (375ML half-bottle)

Port from California
      18.5% ABV
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        18.5% ABV

        Winemaker Notes

        With its bright and shimmering regal red color, the Merlot port is pleasing to the eye. Soft legs cling to the glass and the nose conjures up nougat and caramel with a hint of blackberry. A smooth mouth-feel gives way to a burst of spice while hints of licorice and blackberry are followed by a finish of almonds. Enjoy this delightful port with pates, chevre and nutty cheeses.

        Critical Acclaim

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        St. Barthelemy Cellars

        St. Barthelemy Cellars

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        St. Barthelemy Cellars, California
        Image of winery
        This family venture into the wine business started just a few years ago in 2000. After living in the beautiful Napa Valley for 20 years and enjoying the fruits of everyone else’s labors, Bart and Cynthia Barthelemy decided to join the fun. Since then, they’ve found that not only is it fun but very hard work! They asked their daughter, Angelique, and her husband, Jason, if they would like to join forces and help build and grow the new company. The idea was to take a different path than most of the vintners in the wine business and become a port-only winery. Varietal ports, made from the wonderful, high-quality grapes grown in California that would focus on the individual traits of each varietal.

        California

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        Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredible range of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from tiny, family-owned boutiques to massive corporations, and price and production are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Valley area, while Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

        Each American Viticultural Area (AVA) and sub-AVA of has its own distinct personality, allowing California to produce wine of every fashion: from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate vineyard acreage. Sonoma County is best known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône Blends blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with cool climate varieties such as Pinot noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, any wine lover will find something to get excited about here.

        Blended from the most important red grapes of the Duoro Valley, Port is the famous fortified wine from Portugal. It is based on the Touriga Nacional grape with over 80 other varieties approved for use in the blend. However, typically about four other varieties play a major role: Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and Touriga Francesa. Other wine regions of the world can produce fortified wine of a similar style from the same grapes or other grapes.

        There are numerous styles of Port: Ruby, Tawny, Vintage, LBV, White, Colheita, and a few unusual others.

        Ruby ports usually pack the most value and are ready to drink once bottled. Typical characteristics are ripe cherry and blackberry flavors with stewed plums, cocoa and dates.

        Tawny ports are “tawny” in color and have flavors of toffee, caramel, toasted pecans, vanilla, dried apricot, citrus peel, green figs and roasted espresso. The age designation on a Tawny Port indicates the average vintage age of the grapes in the bottle.

        When Port is made with high quality grapes selected from a single notable vintage, it is called Vintage Port. Some of the best recent vintages are 2011, 2009, 2007, 2003, 2000, 1997 and 1994. Vintage Ports are complex and full-bodied with many flavors possible: concentrated blackberry, black cherry, raspberry and spice, smoke, coffee and chocolate.

        LBV Port comes from a single-vintage Ruby Port and may spend six years in the barrel before being bottled. These are ready to drink upon release. Serve most Ports slightly chilled at around 55-65°F.

        BRTMERLOT_0 Item# 121944