1995 Merryvale "Profile" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend

SKU #994775 91 points Wine Spectator

 Young and vibrant, with a ripe, rich, lively core of currant, plum, anise, sage and cedar. This complex and concentrated wine is supported by a firm tannic backbone, but the flavors glide through on the finish. A blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Cabernet Franc.  (11/1998)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The two exceptional Profile cuvees should receive more attention from wine consumers. The outstanding 1995 Profile (14.5% alcohol) is made from 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc. It needs 4-5 years of cellaring, so readers looking for Cabernet-based wines with immediate accessibility should be forewarned. The wine exhibits an opaque purple color, followed by copious amounts of toasty, smoky, high quality new oak in the nose, along with equally impressive quantities of black currants, plums, and cherries. Deep and full-bodied, with high tannin but outstanding concentration, this is an impressively built, Bordeaux-like wine. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2020. Given the quality of Merryvale's wines, and the talent of winemaker Bob Levy, I am surprised this winery does not receive more attention. Their Profile Proprietary Red Wine ranks among the top three or four dozen red wines of northern California, and their Silhouette Chardonnay is a brilliant Burgundian-styled wine with extraordinary richness and complexity. (RP)  (12/1997)

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Price: $79.99
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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

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.


- 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.