Merlot Month – Rombauer Vineyards
We are almost to the end of Merlot Month! Gasp! HA.HA.
I shared a new Merlot with you last week in celebration of October being Merlot Month. And this week I wanted to continue sharing another new Merlot my husband and I sampled.
With Autumn here we turn to heartier dishes like casseroles and braised meats. And with these dishes we can pair a lovely Merlot with its versatility.
This Merlot from Rombauer Vineyards, a 2014 Napa Valley Merlot to be released during this special month! What a lucky and happy coincidence! This Merlot has notes of fresh, ripe blueberries, blackberries and boysenberry with cedar, vanilla and pie crust! A medium-bodied wine paired wonderfully with seared pork chops, oven roasted chicken, or beef Braciole. If you want to pair with seafood try seared tuna steak, grilled salmon or sautéed scallops.
In previous vintages from Rombauer, the sourcing was from the Carneros region. But for the 2014 Merlot they chose to focus exclusively on the Napa side. So, at their Bulchi Station vineyard, the slightly warmer climate compared to the Somoma side of Carneros the clay soil has given consistently high-quality Merlot. Yet Napa Carneros remains cooler than appellations farther North in Napa Valley, allowing the grapes to gradually develop flavor and tannin while retaining natural acidity.
Did you get all the technicals there? HA!
Merlot poses challenges in the vineyard. With thicker skins, it is more sensitive to heat stress than a Cabernet Sauvignon, and more susceptible to overcropping. So, site selection and farming practices are critical. Rombauer Vineyards made sure to practice sustainable farming throughout the growing season. Yields were restricted to enhance fruit quality and all fruit was hand-picked and sorted in the vineyards. The grapes were carefully destemmed and optically sorted to ensure perfect fruit made it into the wine.
Rombauer has produced Merlot since 1983, always believing in its potential to make beautiful wines. The change in sourcing has been one example of how they continue to strive for improvement, examining every step of the way. The wine is aged in 100% French oak barrels for 17 months.
We really enjoyed sampling the Rombauer Nappy Valley Merlot. Quite different again from my *stand-by* that I most often lean to when not wanting to step out of my comfort zone.
This bottle is also priced slightly higher than the previous Merlot I mentioned, at $45, but would be a great gift for yourself or anyone during this holiday season.
Have you sampled any wines from Rombauer? Have you samples Merlot during Merlot Month? Tried anything out of your comfort zone that you liked or disliked? Drop me a comment! I love to hear about what YOU are drinking too!