1997 Shafer Napa Valley Merlot

SKU #310345 91 points Wine Enthusiast

 Winemaker Elias Fernandez has created a beauty with this blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. It's round and rich, with juicy black-cherry fruit. The finish is long and luscious, with soft tannins and lingering layers of flavor.  (12/1999)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 There is good availability (10,000 cases produced) of the outstanding 1997 Merlot (75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon). It exhibits copious quantities of cedar, coffee, plum, and black cherry/cassis fruit. The texture is fleshy and open-knit, with gobs of ripeness. Drink this medium-bodied, lush, pure Merlot over the next 10-12 years. (RP)  (12/1999)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Saturated ruby-red. Black cherry, plum, licorice and menthol on the nose; quintessential Napa merlot aromas. Juicy and intensely flavored, with nicely integrated acidity and a pliant texture. Finishes firm, with dusty tannins and a hint of unabsorbed acidity. (ST)  (5/2000)

Wine Spectator

 Earthy initially, it builds in richness, with ripe, fleshy currant, black cherry, anise, sage and cedar notes, turning supple. (JL)  (9/1999)

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Price: $59.99
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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Merlot

- 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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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.
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.