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Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2009

Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    13.7% ABV
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    13.7% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    A rich wine that displays great depth and concentration. The fruit for this wine is sourced exclusively from our Soda Canyon Vineyard in southeastern Napa Valley. This Merlot has a dark garnet color and heady aromas of black cherry compote, nutmeg, roasting coffee and violets that seem to burst from the glass. It has a bright entry and a soft, velvety, mouth-coating, mid-palate replete with flavors of juicy berries, roasting coffee and a hint of dark chocolate. This full-bodied, complex wine lingers on the palate with a long, harmonious finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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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
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    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 as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960's, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

    The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

    Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those is the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of 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. 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.

    YAO126991_2009 Item# 126991