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Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2008

Merlot from Napa Valley, California
  • WE91
13.7% ABV
  • WW92
  • JS90
  • WE92
  • WW90
  • WW91
  • RP94
  • RP90
  • RP91
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4.8 4 Ratings
13.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2008 Twomey Merlot is a luscious wine of moderate alcohol that achieves a beautiful balance between ripeness and freshness. It has a garnet color with purple edges and an enticing nose of perfectly ripe, fresh black cherries, violets, nutmeg and dark chocolate. It has a bright attack and a satiny mouth-feel. The fresh cherry fruit returns on the palate and the wine is full bodied without being cloying. The finish is vibrant with notes of dark chocolate and enough tannic grip to ensure good cellaring. This beautiful Merlot will continue to give drinking pleasure through 2023, with proper cellaring.

Blend: 92% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
Made with a drop of Cabernet Franc, this Merlot is rich, smooth and bone dry. With modest alcohol, it brims with flavors of black and red currant, licorice, anise and white pepper, as well as a subtle touch of sweet, smoky new oak. the grapes come from the cool Soda Canyon area of Napa Valley, at the base of Atlas Peak.
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Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak

Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak

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Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak, Napa Valley, California
2008 Merlot
Twomey Cellars originated with a remarkable vineyard, the Soda Canyon Ranch in southeastern Napa Valley, which the Duncan family – owners of Silver Oak Cellars – acquired in 1999. Planted with the finest French clones in well-drained volcanic soils, the Merlot that is grown there possesses such extraordinary complexity that it calls for a wine of its own. Silver Oak's winemaker, Daniel Baron, developed his passion for Merlot during the early 1980s while working in Pomerol and St. Emilion. He had always hoped to make a California Merlot with a French sensibility, but for many years lacked access to fruit with the characteristics he required. When the Duncan family acquired Soda Canyon Ranch and Daniel realized it was planted with top-flight French clones, Daniel’s long-held dream of producing a Napa Valley Merlot with depth and concentration became reality.

The Duncan Family’s spirit of innovation would lead them to discover new varietals when in 2000, they secured the nine-acre West Pin vineyard in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley, legendary for its extraordinary Pinot Noirs. Several years later, they acquired a winery in Healdsburg where the Pinot Noirs are now produced. Twomey is dedicated to producing Pinot Noir that achieves the greatest balance & expression from four top California appellations, including Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley, Anderson Valley and Santa Maria Valley. Twomey’s newest offering is Sauvignon Blanc, a crisp, refreshing wine that originates at the family’s estate vineyard in Calistoga. Today, Twomey Cellars is run by Managing Partners and brothers David and Tim Duncan. Founding winemaker Daniel Baron and Winemaker Ben Cane carry out their vision of making wines that eloquently express their vineyard and vintage.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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.

NDF92258_2008 Item# 121013

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