Grgich Hills Estate
2007 Estate Merlot
California: Napa Valley
Best in Show
This wine is, by far, the greatest 2007 Merlot that we have ever tasted! With a bevy of complex dark fruit flavors that combine, in equal proportion, with earth and spice, this is one fantastic wine.
The winemaking team at Grgich Hills Estate, led by Mike Grgich’s nephew and longstanding winemaker, Ivo Jeramaz, shows its remarkable skill with this wine. Winemaker since 1986, Ivo has continuously impressed us with his wines. Today’s 2007 Estate Merlot is a deep, rich, complex and chewy wine that our entire tasting panel just went crazy for.
This is a big wine, but it’s not over-the-top. It is certainly long on flavor and deep aromatics, but everything is held in such perfect balance here. Please note, though, that you may wish to pair this big Merlot as you would a Cabernet Sauvignon. A nice, juicy, pepper rub steak would do very nicely.
Robert Parker gave the entire 2007 vintage a stellar 96 point score. Today’s very highly recommended 2007 is among the best that we have tried.
Deep, dark ruby, with a darker, iridescent core. At the edge of the glass, a light ruby ring cuts a fine swath around the wine. After a good swirl, chubby, wine-stained legs are slow to emerge before they streak down the glass.
Bold, sweet and filled with life, this wine leads with beautiful being cherry, raspberry and wild strawberry. As the wine opens up begins to reveal gorgeous aromatic spiced cherry, jammy blackberry, sweet brown spice, subtle pipe tobacco, dried fall leaves and a hint of black pepper.
Dark, concentrated and very rich, this complex wine leads with darkest blackberry, dried black cherry, dried cranberry and fall leaves. After the wine has had a chance to breathe, it reveals additional complex flavors including dried black flowers, cigarbox, flinty minerals, sweet Plum, cocoa beans and black pepper.
Ultra along with lingering black fruit flavors that, as the wine drives the palate, gradually yield to more earthy flavors. At the very end, the mouth is left with a plush, dry reminder of the delicious flavors that were just enjoyed.
What the Winery Says
This is a Cabernet lover’s Merlot! Packed with flavors of cherries, blackberries and a hint of dried herbs on the finish, this wine’s rich, complex mouth feel makes it perfect with beef tenderloin, rack of lamb or barbecued pork.
About the Winery
Victor of Paris Tasting
Miljenko “Mike” Grgich first gained international recognition at the celebrated “Paris Tasting” of 1976. Then, in a now-historic blind tasting, a panel of eminent French judges swirled, sniffed, and sipped an array of the fabled white Burgundies of France and a small sampling of upstart Chardonnays from the Napa Valley. When their scores were tallied, the French judges were shocked: they had chosen Mike’s 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay as the finest white wine in the world. Mon Dieu! The results stunned the international wine establishment and immediately earned Mike a reputation as one of the greatest winemakers in the world.
The Paris Tasting served notice to the world that the California wine industry was on the move, and it laid the groundwork for the creation of Grgich Hills Cellar. After his victory in Paris, Mike sat down with Austin Hills and his sister, Mary Lee Strebl, from the Hills Bros. Coffee family, and on Independence Day 1977, they gave birth to Grgich Hills. It was an ideal partnership. Austin owned premium vineyards in Rutherford, in the heart of the Napa Valley, and with his extensive background in business, he put the winery on its financial feet. Mike, with his fierce commitment to making wines of the highest quality, began producing what immediately became our signature wine: the exquisite, richly complex Chardonnays that win awards and delight wine lovers across America and throughout the world.
Today, we remain committed to making distinctive wines with quality, consistency and longevity. We are proud that world leaders such as Presidents Reagan and Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II and French President François Mitterrand chose our wines to serve at state dinners, but we are just as proud that every single day discriminating wine drinkers count on Grgich Hills to turn their own dinners into special occasions.
We treat each of our six different wines as a special child, carefully nurturing their development and character. Our pride and joy is our Chardonnay, an elegant example of the varietal displaying rich flavors and exquisite balance. As a complement to the Chardonnay, we also produce a refreshingly crisp Fumé Blanc, a rich and spicy Zinfandel, a Cabernet Sauvignon with tremendous depth and complexity, a lush and richly fragrant Merlot, and a luscious dessert wine named “Violetta,” in honor of Mike’s daughter, Violet.
Now 89 years old, and still sporting his signature blue beret, Mike was inducted into the Vinter Hall of Fame in 2008 in honor of his many contributions to the wine industry. While many other Napa wineries pursue strategies of expansion, Mike, along with his daughter, Violet, and his nephew, Ivo Jeramaz, prefer to stay small. Their aim, year after year, is to improve the quality of their vineyards and their wines, relying on Mike’s unique artistic and intuitive touch. This strategy continues to pay significant dividends.
Committed to natural winegrowing and sustainability, we farm our five estate vineyards without artificial fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides, rely on wild yeast fermentation and use our passion and the art of winemaking to handcraft food-friendly, balanced and elegant wines.
Beginning with the 2003 vintage, all Grgich Hills wines were labeled “Estate Grown.” This guarantees a consistently superior level of quality and it means that Grgich Hills will always remain a shining symbol of prestige and good taste. In recognition of that important milestone, the winery changed its name in 2007 to Grgich Hills Estate.