Oak Knoll District
At WineHeist we are always on the lookout for hard to find, unique wines that represent incredible value. While there is nothing unusual about Napa Cabernet per se, when we found the 2005 R. Merlo Oak Knoll Cabernet we thought we had found something pretty special, and when we found out we could offer it to our customers at a 40% discount, there was no doubt we had to snatch up as much as we could. This definitely fits the bill of being unique, with lower alcohol and earthier, old-world, almost barnyard flavors, but for fans of this style of wine, the complexity and balance makes this an exceptional drinking experience.
The 2005 R. Merlo Cabernet Sauvignon (Merlo is the producer’s somewhat confusing last name, not an indication that Merlot was blended into this wine) is sourced from Napa’s Oak Knoll District, where moderate temperatures allow for balanced, structured wines. The nose is wonderfully complex, with cassis and black currant, eucalyptus, coffee, brown sugar and just a hint of dried herb. This nose is definitely reminiscent of high-level Bordeaux. The palate offers red cherry and blackberry, along with caramelized sugar, with soft tannin, nice acid, and wonderful integration that only comes from seeing a little extra time in the bottle. At 5 years of age, this is drinking just about perfectly, but should cellar for another 3-5 years with no trouble. With beautiful layering and just 13.9% alcohol, this is a great wine to enjoy on its own, but it would also pair beautifully with beef stew or duck. This wine is well worth its regular price tag of $63, but at $38 it is an absolute steal. If you are a fan of California wine that is more classically styled, stock up on this one today!
Grape Source: Oak Knoll of Napa Valley
Aging: 24 months in French oak (40% new oak)
Acid/pH: .60 / 3.75
Harvest Brix: 24.2
Residual Suga: 0.2%
Alcohol Content: 13.9%
Bottling Date: September 2007
Production: 450 Cases
R. Merlo Estate Vineyards is located along the banks of the wild and scenic South Fork of the Trinity River and at the base of South Fork Mountain, the longest contiguous ridge in the continental United States. This wholly unique setting helps create wines that speak to the power and beauty that is Hyampom Valley. Influenced by the idyllic growing season and climate of this small pocket valley, the fruit produced in the R. Merlo Estate Vineyards expresses a strong sense of place. Based on the concept that quality wine is grown in the vineyard, a minimalist approach is taken in the cellar, allowing the wines to clearly reflect the varietal character and distinct terroir of Hyampom Valley.
R. Merlo Estate Vineyards produces a rare collection of richly flavored and expressive wines. Unlike many California wines, these deep, complex wines are not high in alcohol, nor overripe in flavors. Rather, the wines are naturally big and bold, yet refined and beautiful.
Learn more at www.rmerlo.com.