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Stephen Vincent Merlot 2012

Merlot from Central Coast, California
    14.2% ABV
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    14.2% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Stephen Vincent Merlot is produced from a skilled blend of Central Coast Merlot with a touch of Monterey Sryah. Bold plum and berry flavors with just the right amount of soft tannins and the right balance of toasty oak.

    Blend: 85% Merlot, 15% Syrah

    Critical Acclaim

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    Stephen Vincent

    Stephen Vincent

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    Stephen Vincent, Central Coast, California
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    Stephen Vincent Wines combine state of the art winemaking with savvy sales and marketing. During each harvest, fruit is selected from their Lake County and Sonoma Coast vineyards along with superior lots of wines from North Coast and Central Coast appellations, which they feel will lend themselves to excellent blending, resulting in wines of exceptional quality at affordable prices.

    Stephen Vincent Situm, began his career in the wine business with the Gallo Sales Co. in 1962, logging 53 years of experience in the production, marketing, and sales of premium and ultra-premium wines. He has been instrumental in the building of many major brands including Robert Mondavi, J.Lohr, Vichon, Tepusquet Vineyard, Louis Roederer, Foppiano, Stephen Zellerbach, and Draper & Esquin. He is also a consulting partner on all winemaking decisions.

    Founder of the early boutique winery, La Crema, Winemaker Bob Goyette grew in skill and experience at the Benziger Winery, combining his French Heritage with a New England upbringing. Bob brings his considerable experience to Stephen Vincent Wines. He lets traditional winemaking methods guide him while keeping an eye on the creative use of modern technology to create superior wines of great value for the current market.

    Today, he leads the winemaking team at Stephen Vincent and Robert Goyette wineries. Included in the line are hand-crafted Sonoma County Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; and North Coast and Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc. These youthful, fruit-forward wines are made to be enjoyed young, and often.

    Since the beginning in January 2001, they have sold more than 350,000 cases in 46 states and 3 countries. Stephen Vincent Wines have garnered high scores from Robert Parker, and Gold and Double Gold Medals for their Crimson from the San Francisco International Wine Competition.

    Central Coast

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    The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

    Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

    While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

    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. But the grape also has enough stuffing to make serious, world-renowned wines. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, in St. Emilion and Pomerol, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc. On the Left Bank in the Medoc, 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 with Cabernet Franc.

    EPC32250_2012 Item# 134708