Our old friend El Niño has been blowing a lot of cool and rainy weather to the Napa Valley, which makes us thirsty for a full glass of something red in color and high in alcohol to warm our bones. This week, we are especially loving our 2011 Merlot from Stagecoach Vineyard on Atlas Peak.
Tasting notes: Challenged by the rocky, volcanic soils of this mountainous vineyard site, the vines at Stagecoach produce fruit of extraordinary quality and intensity. This meticulously farmed property is handpicked according to our winemaker’s specifications. Loaded with rich, ripe fruit and spice notes with touches of toasty oak, this Merlot has firm, yet fine tannins and a long finish.
Blend: 83% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon & 2% Petite Verdot (and .02% self-confidence).
Occasion to consume: Team building, a rainy day spent watching Chocolat starring Johnny Depp, a sunny day spent watching Chocolat starring Johnny Depp, or a celebration for days ending in “y.”
Food pairings: Beef is always a solid choice with Merlot. We like this recipe for Grilled Hanger Steak with Garlic-Brandy Butter from Food + Wine. For a busy weeknight, Merlot pairs beautifully with pizza. Or Top Ramen.
Still wearing your anti-Merlot hat because of the movie Sideways? That’s just silly. As with any varietal, the quality of the wine depends completely on how and where it’s produced. You won’t be disappointed with our Merlot. It’s a stunning specimen.
On a side note: If you’re visiting the winery, be on the lookout for our Wine Club Coordinator, Tyler Kohfeld; he’s a stunning specimen in his own right (he also paid me to write that).