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Conventional wisdom had been that, since the Bordelaise blend Merlot with Cabernet Sauvignon, their growing conditions must be similar. Not so. This noble, rich and plump transplant from the wealthiest of Bordeaux estates is early-ripening and actually better suited to the heavier, damper soils and shorter growing conditions of the Carneros; in warmer areas Merlot can turn flabby and sluggish, as malic acid tends to respire quickly. Our 2009 Henry Ranch is a distinctive Merlot that manages to convey a real sense of strength and potency without losing the enticing lushness that is the grape’s greatest virtue. Polished and spicy, this fruit-driven Merlot from our Carneros estate has ripe black plum flavors, a nice richness and a long, silky finish. Drink it now if you must, but here is no need to hurry as it should be even better after two or three more years of cellaring.
Pairs well with greens like chard or radicchio, grilled salmon or Portabello mushrooms.
* Critics Challenge Int'l Wine Competition
* San Diego Int'l Wine Competition
* S.F. Chronicle Wine Competition
* Winemaker Challenge Int'l Wine Competition
* California State Fair