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The Fableist Merlot 2015

Merlot from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
  • WW89
14.1% ABV
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14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Back from the dead, the Merlot has a classic claret character. Black tea, northland blueberries, and wet concrete. The silky texture slides gracefully across the palate leaving behind hints of sweet plums, warm cedar planks, and freshly ground spices. As the wine glides toward the finish, you're grateful for friends and excited for the future.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 89
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
A softer styled Merlot—a style that many consumers enjoy, the 2015 The Fableist The Snake, The Eagle, and The Farmer brings smooth pleasure on the palate. The wine's red fruit, soft acidity, and easy textures make it a pleasing wine that can be enjoyed simply as an aperitif. (Tasted: March 8, 2017, San Francisco, CA)
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The Fableist

The Fableist

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The Fableist, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
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The Fableist is a collaboration between winemakers Curt Schalchlin and Andrew Jones. Curt, owner and vintner of the heralded winery, Sans Liege, is known for his critically acclaimed Rhone varietal wines. Andrew, winemaker of Field Recordings spends his days planning and planting vineyards and has stood foot in just about every vineyard on the Central Coast. Together, they produce The Fableist, a collaboration that gives special attention to the craft and story behind each wine.

Paso Robles

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Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, fruity, and powerful wines. With 11 smaller sub-AVAs, there is quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.

This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, and Rhône varieties both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruity, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.

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.

BUR403127381_2015 Item# 175939