2011 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Merlot (Previously 23)

SKU #1137729 90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Grill up or pan sear a steak, put some brown butter sauce on it, and enjoy with this luscious Merlot. The wine, which is blended with other Bordeaux varieties, is rich in blackberries, cherries, currants and oak, while the low alcohol, only 13.5% by volume, reaffirms its Merlot delicacy.  (11/2013)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Merlot Napa is a blend of 82.2% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc aged 14 months in 25% new oak. A solid, competent effort for the vintage, it offers up notes of herbs, white chocolate, espresso, clove and sweet cherries. Medium-bodied and somewhat short, it needs to be drunk over the next 4-6 years. Now owned by Kendall-Jackson, but with long-time winemaker Ted Edwards still firmly in control, Freemark Abbey has produced a large assortment of wines ranging from very good to exceptional. (RP)  (10/2013)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good full medium red. Aromas of cherry, plum and arugula, plus a hint of roasted oak. Nicely sweet on entry, then a bit medicinal in the middle, with raspberry and plum flavors joined by herbs and tobacco leaf. Finishes with substantial dusty, slightly drying tannins.  (6/2013)

K&L Notes

Blended with 9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petite Verdot, Freemark Abbey's 2011 Merlot is sourced from select vineyards across Napa Valley. The largest portions of fruit come from the gravelly loam soils of Red Barn Ranch in Rutherford (25%) and the clay loam of Lower Cardinale Vineyard in Oakville (22%). The wine spent 14 months in 25% new French and American oak before bottling. From the winery: "Ruby colored, the Merlot expresses bright fruit with forward spicy sweet oak. There are layers of flavor composed of blackberry, dark cherry, raspberry, dark plum, milk chocolate and spices such as cinnamon and vanilla. Coupled with the bright fruit, there is a hint of arugula adding to the complexity. The entry and finish are very smooth with integrated fruit resembling black cherry and Santa Rosa plum. The velvety texture coupled with the richness of flavor provides a profile that delivers from initial sip, one that continues on the palate for a very long time."

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Price: $17.99
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- A very popular red grape variety found in the great wines of St. Emilion and Pomerol. It is the most planted variety in Bordeaux, and it has also become an extremely fashionable red in many regions including California. Although it has a reputation to be smooth, and easy to drink when young, Merlot is also capable of producing extremely intense wines as well. It is often used as a blending agent with Cabernet Sauvignon.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5