For a wine to be labeled as a single varietal, that wine must contain at least 75% of that specific grape. In an effort to eliminate confusion and help brand wines that contain less than 75% of a single varietal, a group of Napa Valley vintners created the Heritage Association in 1998.
A wine may be labeled as a Meritage if it contains at least two or more of the following varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, St. Macaire, Gros Verdot, or Carmenère with no one varietal comprising more than 90% of the blend.
If a blended red wine fails to meet these standards, it is known instead as a Red Blend.
Although many people, including many wine experts, have a tendency to Frenchify the word "Meritage" by pronouncing its last syllable with a "zh" sound, as in "garage," the Meritage Alliance specifically states that the word should be pronounced to rhyme with "heritage.
There is an immediate sense of cigar wrapper & leather that opens to cocoa, cassis, cola and a bit of pomegranate juice mixed with warm blackberry purée...
Sugarloaf Mountain offers a unique terroir for Bordeaux varietals in the Napa Valley. Unlike warmer vineyards up-valley, the climate of Sugarloaf naturally provides a longer hang-time resulting in profound color and flavor intensity. Combined with a southwestern exposure and a rock-laden soil harvesting the sun’s energy, this extraordinary terroir delivers the exceptional ripeness necessary for both the power and complexity required of great Cabernet- and Merlot-based wines.
The Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard lies in the heart of the Napa Valley’s emerging Coombsville region. Recognized for its unique terroir for over 40 years, the Coombsville area is now the newest official AVA in Napa. Located on gently-sloping terrain, this site provides a micro-climate perfectly suited to growing muscular Bordeaux-varietal wines exhibiting the distinctive terroir of this cool growing region.
The wine is dense, dark and intense! There is an immediate sense of cigar wrapper & leather that opens to cocoa, cassis, cola and a bit of pomegranate juice mixed with warm blackberry purée. Let the wine sit in the glass and experience it change over time with several of these flavors moving to the forefront for a bit, then stepping back to let another take the lead. It is a muscular wine, no doubt, but with a hugely rewarding finish of vanilla, cocoa and almost a velvety texture.
Bottling Date: July 8, 2011
Appellation: 100% Napa Valley
Blend: 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot
Wood: 18 mo. New French Oak
Our fathomless unfiltered Bordeaux-style blend was long aged, barrel fermented and hand racked for thirty-six months in French oak barrels. It is luscious, sleek and complex with floral red currant and spice box aromas that lead to layered, concentrated flavors of black cherry, mocha, white pepper, sweet cinnamon and oak that jump from the glass. Velvety-soft, round tannins linger on the mid palate, producing a rich, elegant, dry finish. Enjoy now or be rewarded if allowed to cellar for 3 years or more.
2011 Ascendance is beautiful alone and compliments medium to sharp cheddar cheeses, roasted game hens, duck, pork, grilled steaks, prime rib, filet mignon, lamb and good friends. Fill your glass with beauty and lift your spirits.
2011 Chateau Lane Winery Stella Reserve Big Love Red
At long last, the highly anticipated new Stella Red is here in a big way. This Big Love Red flaunts aromas of spicy black currant, blackberry, and dark cherries served in a cedar cigar box. The dark fruits on the palate are mingled with finely structured, satisfying tannins. With a long life ahead, this chivalrous and tenacious Red is sure to impress today and will cellar until 2025. Love boldly, drink Big Love Red.
TA: 0.62 ; PH: 3.79 ; Alc: 14.5% ; RS: 0.0 ; MAL: 0.25g/100ml (dry)
22 months in 40% Brand New French oak and 60% Neutral (3-5 times used) French oak barrels.
Reverence Ranch, Las Ceresas, and Oak Knoll
Signum: Latin for something that marks or identifies. We're more than comfortable making the 2012 Signum our identifying wine with its succulent, harmonious cacophony of blackberry, ripe wild strawberry, candied current and tobacco leaf. This is the elixir that seems to call out the stars on a cloudy night, and hasten our conversations to new existential depths. It's unfiltered, smooth, smudged with graphite, ready to chill out in your cellar for the next decade or emerge tonight paired with Coltrane's A Love Supreme, and maybe your love supreme?
Composition: 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Calistoga, Napa Carneros, Rutherford, Napa Valley
Aging: 22 months in 70% new French oak, unfiltered
Harvest Date: October 18 & 26, 2012
Aged for 18 months – 1/3 in brand new barrels, 1/3 in 2 to 5 year old barrels, 1/3 neutral barrels. Varietals comprise Cabernet Sauvignon from Starr Ranch, Malbec from Lockwood Valley Vineyards, dry farm Merlot from Julie’s Vineyard and Syrah from Hearthstone Vineyard.
2012 was amazing by any standard. All of this fruit came to full maturity with good color and acids, the natural hot springs underneath Julie’s Vineyard provided all the water and nutrients that the grapes needed to survive.
Nothing fancy here, minimum grape handling and destemming did the trick.
Typical Bordeaux style elegant and plummy with a twist of spice, the merlot brings a traditional velvety texture to the blend and cab the tannins.
This production was harvested by hand in the fall of 2012: 65/100 Kiler Canyon syrah was harvested in September and 35/100 Staar Ranch grenache was harvested in early October. It was then aged 24 months in new French oak barrels.
Kiler Canyon is home to some of the best syrah in the county; it shares a fence line with Terry Hoag Cellars a well-established winery and a big syrah house as well. Conditions were ideal! A mild leaf thinning had to be done in August to get full sun exposure and good ventilation against potential mildew.
The syrah was pungeon fermented; we removed the head of 2 Cadus Medium toast pungeons and introduced the freshly crush fruit. Punch down was done twice a day by hand, the 2 wines were made separately then blended together and aged for another 6 months in a brand new pungeons.
Impressive coffee bean scent when you open the bottle, follow by toasted bread and nutty aromas. The mouthfeel is soft and velvety, but the tannins are strong. Thanks to the syrah, a long acidity from the grenache makes the finish linger. A solid red with at least a 10 year aging potential.
This proprietary blend marries the blue-black fruit of Petite Sirah with the brightness and elegance of Zinfandel. Petite Sirah provides big fruit and tannins, while the Zin provides the brightness and finesse of a lighter, more refined raspberry-strawberry notes and a lingering silky finish. The cab/merlot/cab franc provide more structure and depth. This wine is surprisingly quaffable and easily paired with a variety of foods.
The grapes in this wine represent a marriage of the best from three vineyards in two counties – all at higher elevations and all benefiting from cool Pacific breezes at night. Petite Sirah grapes are from Amber View Vineyard in northern Lake County, while the Cab/Merlot/Cab Franc come from Wild Diamond Vineyard in the southern part of the County. The Petite Sirah has bigger tannins and dark, dense fruit while the Cab/Merlot/Cab Franc have softer tannins than many Napa Cab blends to the south. Both enjoy shorter than normal harvest periods but fully ripe fruit because of their vineyard elevations of over 2,000 feet. The Zinfandel from Firebrick Hill Vineyard to the west, however, enjoys a cooler climate and longer growing season, resulting in a more refined, layered fruit as evident in this wine’s long, silky finish.
Blend: 75% Petite Sirah, 20% Zinfandel, 5% Cab/Merlot/Cab Franc
Region: Lake County, California
Varietal: Proprietary Red Blend
Vineyard: Cass Vineyard, Paso Robles, Geneseo AVA - California USA
Blend: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot, 27% Syrah and 20% Merlot
Residual Sugar: .19
A proprietary red blend that marries three primary varietals native to the Rhone Valley of France: Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre (GSM). This classic-style blend resembles the Southern Rhone Chateauneuf du Papes blends in which the spice of the Grenache, lavender fragrance and perfumed berries of the Mourvedre and the dense, tannic fruit of the Syrah are united in a way that creates an earthy, yet explosive combination of flavors suitable for pairing with a wide variety of savory dishes or by itself.
The grapes in this wine all come from the Wild Diamond Vineyard in southern Lake County. At an elevation of 2,200 ft., this vineyard sits high above the fog line, with 5 – 6 hours of direct sunlight daily and then cooled by Pacific breezes at night coming across the Mendocino wind gap. Its red loamy soil is the result of ancient pre-civilization floods and contains rich nutrients that contribute to the density, acidity and color of these grapes.
Dark Ruby color, deep layers of black cherries, cassis, blackberries, cocoa, currants and bit of truffle on the nose, the wine is beautiful and seductive. An elegant, round, and rich mid-palate with an attractive texture and excellent acidity, Padlock, our first red blend, is sexy but well balanced with good depth and length.
Appellation: 100% Napa Valley
Varietal: 73% Merlot - 21% Cabernet Sauvignon - 6% Cabernet Franc
Fermentation: 10 -14-day fermentation in open top and median sized fermenters all cap irrigated with peak temps of between 80 -85 F. All wine was aged in 60 gallon French barrels for 15 months. Wines were racked every four months and assemble two months before bottling.
Only 25 cases available!!! This has been the find of the year. 85% St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Oak Knoll Merlot. We keep hearing the same reaction from people when tasting this amazing wine from the barrel “I want to drink all of this now”.
Blackberry all the way with leather and violets living in harmony. A faint hint of orange blossom points to the fresh fruit while the tannins showcase the French Oak
The third year of drought and the direst year on record, was coupled with an early bud break and a hotter than normal summer. Overall the harvest started earlier than normal. Although with slightly lower yields, an incredible quality and concentration was obtained, especially for red varietals.
Omen, Red Blend is an explosion of flavors and intensity. From spices to cassis and dark cherry notes, the complexity of the blend transcends into subtle notes of leather and dark chocolate. The mouth feel is rich with luscious and elegant tannins. A very bold and powerful wine that is still approachable and balanced.
In order to create the complex foundation of Omen, we work with a vibrant community of distinguished vineyards across the Sierra Foothills. Each block has been fermented separately to be able to preserve the single characteristics of the variety and the vineyard. The blend is then created and aged in 30% new oak for 8 months.
AVA: Sierra Foothills
TA: 5.16 g/L
RS: <0.1g/L (Dry)
Omen is great with steak, ribs, and duck. Any kind of barbecue will be complemented well by this wine. One of my favorites is a charcoal baked camembert with herb crackers as an appetizer. For dessert, I highly recommend a dark chocolate torte. Bon appetite!
Blends and co-ferments our an integral part of our winemaking and this G*S*M (Grenache 4.2%, Syrah 45.2%, Mourvedre 50.6%) shows the kinds of textures and flavors that only blends can achieve. Lifted and bright this wine is what pinot noir would taste like with backbone. A layered wine with many dimensions. Cellaring three to five years will bring out even more complexity. Ideal with pork roasts or grilled Italian sausage.
Inspired by wine makers of Tuscany, our Super Rosso is a blend of Sangiovese, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. This well-structured, balanced wine shows attractive hints of red plum, Bing cherries and traces of graphite on the finish.
This estate blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Syrah - or Shiraz as the Aussies call it - has medium tannins and a robust structure. With a rustic nose of wet red bricks and a finish of graphite and currents, this southern hemisphere-styled wine will be a favorite with bolder dishes of lamb or beef.
This newest vintage of our Bordeaux-style red blend is 67% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Petite Verdot with grapes daily coming from our estate vineyard. For this vintage, we stayed true to the varietals of the Bordeaux region with the addition of Napa Valley Petite Verdot. This wine has a rich, round texture and dark fruit complexity pleasing to those who enjoy a full bodied wine.