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Ste. Chapelle Winemakers Merlot 2000

Merlot from Idaho
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    Winemaker Notes

    Critical Acclaim

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    Ste. Chapelle

    Ste. Chapelle Winery

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    Ste. Chapelle Winery, Idaho
    From high atop "Winery Hill", Ste. Chapelle Winery overlooks thousands of acres of fertile orchards and farmland in Southwestern Idaho. Ste. Chapelle was founded in 1976 and named after La Sainte-Chapelle Church in Paris, France. The winery has grown to produce over 120,000 cases and by adhering to a quality focus, their wines have eraned national and international recognition since the beginning.

    Other U.S.

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    From Alabama to Wyoming, each of the fifty US states produces wine—with varying degrees of success. Many of the colder northeastern states focus primarily on American or French-American hybrid varieties like Concord and Vidal, while Muscadine is the grape species of the warm, humid southeast. In Alaska, grapes are grown indoors in a greenhouse; other states specialize in fruit wines, like the pineapple wine of Hawaii. New York and Virginia have thriving wine industries, and New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Michigan, Idaho, and Ohio are all worth keeping an eye on.

    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.

    CLW244151_2000 Item# 53664