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Swanson Oakville Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2004

Merlot from Napa Valley, California
  • W&S94
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Winemaker Notes

2004 Swanson Merlot is a powerful, concentrated expression of the variety. The nose shows black cherry, smoke, blackberry, and espresso. The flavors in the mouth echo the aromatic expression nicely. The fine-grained tannins for which Swanson Merlots have become known provide the round, ripe texture of this wine.

While drinking surprisingly well today, this wine will improve and be enjoyable for at least the next 6-8 years.

Critical Acclaim

W&S 94
Wine & Spirits

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Swanson

Swanson

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Swanson, , California
Swanson
Founded by W. Clarke Swanson, Jr. in 1985, Swanson Vineyards consists of 140 acres of estate vineyards in the Oakville area of Napa Valley. The winery produces Merlot, Syrah, Sangiovese, Pinot Grigio, a late harvest Semillon, plus their flagship proprietary blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, called "Alexis."

Barossa Valley

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Historically and presently the most important wine-producing region of Australia...

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Historically and presently the most important wine-producing region of Australia, the Barossa Valley is set in South Australia, where more than half of the country’s wine is made. Because the climate is very hot and dry, vineyard managers must be careful so that grapes do not become overripe. Some of the oldest vines in Australia can be found here—in the cooler, wetter Eden Valley sub-region, the Hill of Grace vineyard is home to 140+ year old Shiraz vines.

The intense heat is ideal for plush, bold reds, particularly Rhône blends featuring Shiraz, Grenache, and Mataro (Mourvèdre). White grapes can produce crisp, fresh wines from Riesling, Chardonnay, and Semillon if they are planted at higher altitudes where they may benefit from cool breezes, particularly in the Eden Valley.

Riesling

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision...

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. This versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling, and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes in New York.

In the Glass

Riesling is low in alcohol, with high acidity, steely minerality, and stone fruit, spice, citrus, and floral notes. At its ripest it leans towards juicy peach and nectarine, and pineapple, while in cooler climes it is more redolent of meyer lemon, lime, and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of gasoline.

Perfect Pairings

Riesling is very versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice), and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

UCW19508_2004 Item# 94186

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