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2006 Schug Estate Reserve Merlot

Schug Carneros Estate
2006 Merlot, Carneros
Heritage Reserve

Elegant, Balanced, Lush & Smooth...

Schug Estate, one of the oldest estate programs in Carneros, is a pioneer in the region, and one of the few wineries in the area that still produces Bordeaux varietals in this cooler climate. While the result may not be the huge, jammy fruit-bombs that garner big scores from the critics, instead the focus is on elegance and balance, with the resulting wines pairing much more easily with food, and allowing the varietal character of the grapes to shine through. The 2006 Heritage Reserve Merlot is an example of just such a wine.

The nose shows black cherry, cocoa, and dried herb.  The palate echoes the black cherry on the nose, joined by cassis, plum, and tealeaf.  This medium bodied red is lush and smooth, yet remains bright thanks to good acidity.  The finish is persistent, resonating on the palate with chocolate-covered cherry flavors.  A small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, and Malbec are included in the final blend, adding an extra degree of complexity.  The Bordeaux style red is perfect for red meat dishes prepared with a lighter touch that might be overpowered by a big, brash California Cab. 

91% Merlot (Sangiacomo, Ricci, and Rancho Salina Vineyards)
3% Cabernet Franc (Rancho Salina Vineyards)
5% Cabernet Sauvignon (Rancho Salina and Atwood Vineyards)
1% Malbec (Rancho Salina Vineyards)
Appellation:  86% Carneros; 14% Sonoma Valley
Harvest Dates:  September 28th through October 25th, 2006
Sugar at Harvest:   24.4 degrees Brix average
Fermentation: 12- 14 days in stainless steel tanks, punched down three times daily
Aging Cooperage:  22% aged in new French oak barrels 6% aged in new American oak barrels 72% aged in 1 to 4 year old French and American oak barrels
Alcohol:   13.5% by volume
Acidity:  TA = 0.59 g/100ml; pH = 3.49
Production:  447 cases (12 x 750ml); 8 cases (6 x 1.5L); 6 x 3L
Release Date:  April 1, 2010

Tasting Notes PDF PDF

About Schug Carneros Estate

Founded in 1980, Schug Carneros Estate Winery is the showcase and life-long dream of one of California's most celebrated winemakers. Walter Schug's reputation blossomed during his tenure as Founding Winemaker for Joseph Phelps Vineyards in the 1970s, where he made California’s first proprietary Bordeaux-Style blend (Insignia) and legendary vineyard designated Cabernets (Backus and Eisele Vineyards).

Drawing on his long experience in the production of fine wines in both Europe and California, Walter set up his own winery with his wife Gertrud in the cool, marine climate of the Carneros Appellation. Here he could focus on the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals that had always been close to his heart.

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