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Flat front label of wine

Stonestreet Legacy Meritage Red 2011

Bordeaux Red Blends from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • RP92
14.5% ABV
  • RP95
  • RP93
  • RP93
  • WE96
  • RP91
  • RP91
  • RP92
  • RP93
  • WS93
  • RP93
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2011 Legacy is an apt showcase for the cooler vintage conditions of the year, exhibiting both high tone fruit and tremendous structural grace which winemaker Lisa Valtenbergs achieved through careful blending of bench and higher elevation blocks. Blueberry compote, black plum and purple flowers flood the nose while green peppercorn and star anise provide further backnote complexity. Beautifully textured and seamless in the entry, the palate's fruit elements arebolstered by savory and wet slate notes, with a finish lengthened by firm tannins.

Blend: 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This wine, which has been separated from the Stonestreet Alexander Mountain estate, is sold under its own label. A 403-case blend from the high elevation vineyards of Alexander Valley Estate, is made by South African winemaker, Graham Weerts. A blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, it was aged 19 months in 64% new French oak. An opaque purple color is followed by lots of crushed rock minerality, sweet creme de cassis and black raspberries, and a deep, full-bodied, dusty, earthy, backward personality. It is slightly softer than Stonestreet's 2011 Cabernet Sauvignons, but will still benefit from several years of bottle age. It should keep for 15-20 years.
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Stonestreet

Stonestreet

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Stonestreet, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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In the autumn of 1989, Jess Jackson acquired the Zellerbach winery and renamed it in honor of his late father, Jess Stonestreet Jackson. Stonestreet quickly garnered international acclaim for their powerful reds and luscious whites.

Today, Stonestreet wines are undergoing a transformation, using fruit from Alexander Mountain Estate and new winemaking techniques. Alexander Mountain Estate, with lean, well-draining soils and cooler temperature, produces fruit with smaller berries and more intense color and flavor. Stonestreet is dedicated to fulfilling the promise of Alexander Valley's exceptional and distinctive vineyards. Traditional, Old World methods of hand harvesting, small barrel lot production, native yeast fermentation and bottling each wine unfiltered brings out the best in specific grape varieties and provides the quality framework for each Stonestreet wine.

Alexander Valley

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Nearly a northern extension of Napa Valley, Alexander Valley starts just north of the small, Knights Valley, and is just a few minutes drive from the Napa town of Calistoga. It is Sonoma County’s hottest AVA. But the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cooler pockets and its soft, alluvial soil is ideal for grape growing, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, some believe that Alexander Valley Cabernets truly rival the best from Napa Valley and many of the heavy-hitter producers have largely invested here.

In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and old vine Zinfandel thrive here. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have also been discovered and more recent experiments with Sangiovese and Barbera show great promise.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

RGL4001125SX_2011 Item# 143969