1999 Forman Napa Valley Merlot (Previously $60)

SKU #995144

The style of Ric Forman's wines is explained by the fact Forman especially enjoys right-bank Bordeaux "and the only chardonnay I can drink is from Chablis". Forman has recently bought all new equipment, including a gentle crusher, for the 2001 harvest. Forman does not believe in doing extended maceration. "This would compromise the bright red fruit qualities we get here, and would give the wines a more reduced chocolate and coffee character. Besides, the tannins here are ripe enough to begin with." Forman continues to give his wines a light fining and filtration; he remains convinced that wines without organic sediment are more likely to age gracefully. 1999 Merlot Napa Valley (80% new oak): Good ruby-red. Cherry, redcurrant, dark chocolate and a whiff of leather on the nose; this reminded me of right-bank Bordeaux. Bright and intensely flavored; not fat but juicy and refined. Flavors of black cherry and licorice. Finishes with dusty, firm tannins and sneaky persistence. 89-92 points. Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar Issue 98 May/June 2001+C16

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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.


- 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.
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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.