Schug Sonoma Valley Merlot 2012
This classically structured Merlot is crafted in the Bordeaux style that Walter Schug pioneered in California while winemaster of Joseph Phelps Vineyards (1973 to 1983). The Merlot grapes were grown on the Sangiacomo Vineyard in the Carneros district of southern Sonoma Valley. This cooler microclimate provides the longer growing season necessary for Merlot to ripen slowly and develop maximum flavor. Added complexity comes from a blending judicious amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grown on the Rancho Salina and Horne vineyards farther north in Sonoma Valley. It has a spicy bouquet, deep color and exhibits full-bodied flavors of cherry, blackberry and spice. Try it now with grilled fish, pasta, lamb and steaks, or cellar it for 5 to 7 years.