Merryvale Vineyards Owner Rene Schlatter in town for a Tasting at WWWB

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 07:30 PM

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The memory of some bottles can stay with your for life. While the wine doesn't have to be old and rare, a great old bottle can be like a time capsule, capturing in its flavors and aromas the time and place of its creation.
MIREILLE GUILIANO, French Women for All Seasons

 

We always ramp up the events in the month of October with the Gaja and White Truffle dinner and the California Cult Cabernet tastings already SOLD OUT.  You want to make your reservations early this month.

Tuesday night we are not usually open at the Wine Bar but we will open for our good friends at Merryvale winery from Napa Valley.  We hosted Simon Faury Merryvale’s winemaker in 2015 and now we have the owner of Merryvale Winery Rene Schlatter Tuesday October 9th at the Wine Bar. 

The cost of this tasting is also less that the price of their top iconic Bordeaux blend, Profile being one of the best wines in its class in any given vintage.  I remember when the winery used to conduct blind tastings with Profile versus other top-level wines from Napa including; Insignia, Opus One, SLWC Cask 23, etc. and the Profile always finished in one of the top spots usually 1st, 2nd or 3rd place.  We have at least three vintages of Profile on the table this evening and a five-course tasting menu.

The fee for this event is $150 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.

 

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Merryvale Wine Dinner
with owner Rene Schlatter at Wine Watch
Tuesday, October 9th
7:30pm

2017 Merryvale Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley

2017 Merryvale Starmont Sauvignon Blanc Napa
Price: $33.00       Sale $29.04          Case $337

Our Sauvignon Blanc is a very small, hand-crafted and artisan produced wine. The techniques used go back to the time Winemaker Simon Faury spent in Bordeaux working for one of the most renowned Sauvignon Blanc and white wine producers in the world, Domaine de Chevalier. First we use the basket press, which delivers very low yields but extracts at low pressure giving us only the best juices—the clearest with the highest acidity. The result is a rich, deep Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of stone fruit, citrus, guava and grapefruit. Fresh and lively on the mouth, this wine is very balanced with a nice weight and freshness overall. The finish is very floral with a touch of savory herbs.

Image result for 2016 Merryvale Chardonnay Napa

2016 Merryvale Chardonnay Napa
Price: $33.00       Your Price: $29.04

A vibrant gold color, this wine is alive with aromas of ripe, sweet pear, pineapple, popcorn, golden delicious apple, toffee, and vanilla bean. Showcasing the balanced 2014 growing season, the smooth, bright entry offers the prelude to a fresh and delicate wine with lots of personality, weight and volume. The acidity is well framed by the flavor and texture of the wine. Naturally sweet flavors and aromatics are accented by complex barrel notes, leading to a lengthy, sophisticated finish.

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2014 Merryvale Pinot Noir Carneros
Price: $36.00    Your Price: $31.68

Deep ruby in color with notes of  red cherries, earth and orange rind in the aroma.   Medium density, with intense fruit flavors and strong floral notes. A soft and delicate palate resolves into smooth velvety tannins. As this wine evolves, further floral flavors will emerge along with notes of  tobacco. Properly cellared, this wine will grow and develop over the next 10 years.

Image result for 2013 Merryvale Cabernet Sauvignon Napa

2013 Merryvale Cabernet Sauvignon Napa
Price: $63.00    Your Price: $55.44

(91 Points) The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc and Merlot. This excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 22 months in 50% new French oak and 50% used oak, is a real sleeper selection from Merryvale with an attractive price as well. Dense ruby/purple with sweet crème de cassis notes intermixed with black cherry and toast in a medium to full-bodied, supple, velvety seductive style. This is a beauty and should drink well for at least 10-15 years. Don't miss it.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

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2011 Merryvale Profile Napa

A blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Cabernet Franc, 19% Petit Verdot and 15% Malbec. Threre were only 900 cases made of this...

2013 Merryvale Profile Napa
Price: $202.50    Your Price: $162.00          Quantity in Stock: 2

(92 points) The flagship wine at Merryvale is their Profile, and the 2012 Proprietary Red Blend Profile carries a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Malbec, 10% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. Beautiful blueberry, white flowers, black and red currants, as well as some incense and camphor jump from the glass of this stunningly proportioned, complex wine. The mouthfeel is medium to full-bodied with superb purity, enticing texture and oodles of beautiful ripe fruit that cascade over the palate. I think of it as a gracious and somewhat restrained, but authoritative Napa Red Wine. It should drink well for 12-15+ years. (10/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2014 Merryvale Profile Napa
Price: $202.50    Your Price: $162.00

(94 Points) Their most expensive wine is the 2014 Profile Proprietary Red Wine, which is a proprietary blend of their best lots, in this case 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. This is a big-time winner, although whether it justifies twice the price of anything else is up to the reader. Rich, inky purple-colored, with sweet crème de cassis, blueberry, forest floor and spice box, the wine is full-bodied and opulent, with a voluptuous texture, sweet tannin, and a long finish of close to 40-45 seconds. This is a beauty and certainly the best of all these wines, but again, the pricing is high.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

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NV Merryvale Antigua
Price: $45.00       Your Price: $39.60

A modifed solera made from Muscat, has notes of flowers, honey, almond and dried fruits on the nose, apricot and sundried raisins. Very sweet on the tongue but has a nice balance of acidity and an oxidated nutty character that adds complexity to the finish along with brown spice. Finish 35+ Very Good +

 

 

Menu

Selection of Charcuterie and Cheese
Jumbo Sea Scallop with Tangerine citrus Beurre Blanc over creamy grits
Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio with lavender Aioli and Quail egg served with whole wheat toast points
Duck Confit Lasagna with wild mushrooms and cabernet natural Sauce
Fruit Cake with Orange Honey Marmalade Drizzle

 

Dinner is $150 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.  Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions when you make your reservation and were happy to accommodate you.

 

Cask Room of Merryvale, Napa Valley

History of Merryvale Winery:

In 1979, William Harlan, John Montgomery and the late Peter Stocker, founding partners of the Pacific Union Company, became a part of the Napa Valley with their purchase of Meadowood Country Club.  They saw the potential to create a world class resort which would add something to the quality of life for those who cam to visit the Napa Valley.  Today, Meadowood plays host to the Valley’s most exclusive events, it is acclaimed by critics as one of the top properties in the United States, and is a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux.

At the same time the three men were scouting out a place for this dreamy resort, they were also scouring the valley looking for a site to build a premium winery.  Since his days at the University of California, Bill Harlan (yes the same Harlan of Harlan Estate, one of the most sought after red wines coming from the valley today) had been traveling to the valley and was enamoured with the thought of being in the wine business.  A short time passed after the purchase of Meadowood, they included Robin Lail, the daughter of John Daniels Jr., whose family had founded Inglenook, and they were now a quartet.  Lail came in on a full-time basis in 1981 and in 1983 a new partnership, including Lail and her husband, Jon, was formed to establish Merryvale Vineyards.

The term vineyards would imply that there are some grape vines associated with the term Merryvale, but that has never been the case.  Merryvale was a virtual vineyard for the first three years, they rented space from other wineries to custom crush purchased fruit from some of the leading vineyards to custom crush purchased fruit from some of the leading vineyards in Napa Valley.  From the onset the partners focused on striving for excellence.  Concentrating on the production of just two wines, a red Bordeaux blend and a Chardonnay, they focued on producing a limited number of cases and sought to achieve the pinnacle of quality with each vintage.  The first wines were made at the Sunny St. Helena Winery under the supervision of Ric Forman.  These wines were impressive for their depth and structure, but seemed to be a bit austere and brash.  Production was very small at 1,600 cases, but the vineyard sources were solid;  Cabernet from Spottswood and Merlot from Winery Lake.

In 1986 the winery became a reality, the site just happened to be the first winery built after prohibition, this would mark the beginning of an era of excellence for Merryvale.  The 1985 Red Table Wine was rated an outstanding (91) by James Laube of The Wine Spectator.  The 1987 Chardonnay also received a (91) that same year, catapulting Merryvale into the limelight in a big way.

The turning point for Merryvale is when they hired Bob Levy.  Levy settled in Napa Valley in 1978, where he was immediately hired by Cuvaison Vineyards.  “I did everything from racking barrels to discing the vineyards, “ he recalls.  In 1982, he went to work for the newly-founded Rombauer Vineyards.  There he helped build the winery from the ground up.  In order to establish a positive cash flow, the winery offered its facilities for custom crushing.  Levy crushed, fermented and aged a wide variety of wines for a number of different clients.  He founded the experience of inestimable value.  “I made many different wines in widely varied styles, and did so with grapes form numerous regions- it was like postgraduate work in the real-world classroom of California winemaking, “  concludes Levy.  While at Rombauer, Levy had undertaken some custom-crushing for Merryvale vineyards.  The exacting care that had been lavished on Merryvale wines at Rombauer had not gone unnoticed by Merryvale’s partners; when they decided to hire a Director of Winemaking, the job was offered to Levy.

Merryvale went to work in 1988 with Bob Levy in control of the winemaking and Bill Wren as the general manager.  The wines were receiving some wonderful accolades, but as Wren put it  “we were a little before our time”.  The wines were very popular on the West Coast, but had not really caught on yet on the East Coast.  They were receiving some excellent press from The Wine Spectator.  The 1987 Napa Chardonnay scored (93)  the 1988 Napa Chardonnay scored a (91), and the 1989 (a difficult year for Chardonnay) scored an (89).  The wines were excellent, the press was good, but the public was just not ready for style of wines that Merryvale was putting out.  With some decisions to make the partners decided to sell a portion of the winery to raise some capital to take the winery through the next phase of evolution.

In 1992, the partners sold a 50% stake of the business to Swiss entrepreneur Jack Schlatter.  Harlan commented that Jack was an excellent fit for the winery, because of his international business background- and he paid all of his ten million in cash.  Schlatter, a self-made businessman, built his fortune in the texile business and in real estate in Texas.  With Schlatter’s capital and Levy’s genius, there was nowhere for Merryvale to go but straight to the top.  In 1994 Merryvale unveiled the Tank Room- the ultimate Napa Valley tasting environment, built within a 22,000 gallon wooden cask.  They also use this room to host dinners and other special events, the backgrop of this historic cellar featuring two stories of century old 2,000 gallon casks is truly amazing.

Merryvale now has three tiers of wines (each tier is denoted by a different color package) and annual production is around 50,000 cases.  In 1996 Jack Schlatter bought out the original partners and the Schlatter family is now sole owner.  In July of 1998, Bob Levy resigned as winemaker to pursue his consulting career and spend more time with his family. 

The Profile is at the top of the ladder of quality at Merryvale and Napa Valley for that matter, shown in blind tastings with other top wines at the $100 and up price point this wine always finishes in the top 3 spots.  The last few vintages from Napa Valley have been excellent with 2013 being one of the most structured and age able of the recent years.  Here is what Robert parker Jr. had to say about 2012 & 2013 in the Wine Advocate:  “After the challenging vintages of 2010 (which turned out surprisingly well) and 2011 (a much-maligned vintage with some very good wines from top producers and by no means a terrible year), 2012 as well as 2013 provided classic, virtually textbook-perfect weather conditions for growing plenty of grapes and harvesting them in an orderly fashion whenever the producer desired. Both vintages are clearly the two greatest years for North Coast Bordeaux varietals - and probably Chardonnay as well - since the wonderful duo of 2001 and 2002. As my retrospectives over the last several years have demonstrated, the 2001 and 2002s are aging magnificently and very slowly. Both vintages are now well past a decade of age and have at least several more decades of longevity to them.”  The Wine Advocate

 

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