The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2018

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Page 106 of 124

106  /  the tasting panel  /  may 2018 Aromas of ripe blueberries and black- berries intertwine with notes of cedar and vanilla in this medium-bodied Merlot, which has been produced at Rombauer since 1983. For the 2014 vintage, winemakers selected grapes from estate-owned and grower-partner vineyards on the Napa side of Carneros, where the clay-based soils are similar to those of Bordeaux's Right Bank. Handpicked and optically sorted, the grapes benefit from a cool climate that allows them to gradually develop tannin while retaining acidity. "About one-third of our Merlot is barrel-fermented in new French oak, a process we began with our Bordeaux varieties in 2012," said Central U.S. Sales Manager Dave Zinni. "Rombauer has one of the largest red-wine barrel fermentation programs in Napa Valley, and many winemakers come to see it firsthand. I think the 2014 Merlot is superb with grilled lamb chops. If you put it with a Trois Petits Cochons liver mousse and Livarot cheese from Normandy, you could do no better in life." THE PANEL SAYS: Plum and brown sugar flood the nose with blueberry and blackberry jam filling out the mid-palate. Fine structure. —Dave Lund Bold dark fruit with a nose of dried rose petal. A big fruit front with a dry finish; rather chewy, yet tasty. —Charles Riley WINE #10 ROMBAUER 2014 MERLOT, NAPA VALLEY Rombauer Central U.S. Sales Manager Dave Zinni. SPEED TASTING

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