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Vine Cliff Merlot 2001

Merlot from Napa Valley, California
  • WE92
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Winemaker Notes

The aroma features black cherry and currant fruits with smoky, toasty oak and layers of spices. On the palate, the Merlot has a rich core of black cherry and plum flavors with hints of anise and spice. Full bodied with toast and ripe chocolaty tannins which linger on the finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast

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Vine Cliff

Vine Cliff Winery

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Vine Cliff Winery, , California
Vine Cliff
Nestled in a quiet canyon above the Silverado Trail in the world famous Napa Valley stand the breathtaking vineyards of Vine Cliff Winery. Known for rich, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignons from the treasured Oakville Appellation and bold Chardonnays from the acclaimed Carneros District, Vine Cliff Winery prides itself on small lots of intensely flavored, hand-made wines.

Cote de Beaune

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Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

SWS97225_2001 Item# 79181

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