California: Napa Valley
Dark and delicious, today’s stunning wine hails from the 96 point 2007 vintage.
Barlow’s 2007 Napa Valley Merlot will appeal to Merlot drinkers - but also to fans of bold Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a sophisticated wine that delivers an elegant but bold rush of fruit, on the nose and on the palate.
Decant for 20 minutes and it really springs to life driving bold fruit to the far corners of the palate.
Pair this food-fantastic wine with grilled meats with a spiced brown sugar or molasses dry rub.
Deep and dark vermillion, with glinting garnet edging. the wine appears heavy in the glass, causing it to settle quickly. Once the wine settles, a few beats of time pass, tall, skinny legs rocket downward.
Dark and sophisticated with a warm perfumed nose of black cherry, boysenberry jam, anise, dark wildflower honey, dried roses, semi-dried tobacco leaf, cherry pie a la mode.
Integrated and assertive tannins drive fruit and spice all around the palate. The wine leads with black plum, black cherry, tobacco leaf and soft brown spice.
Elegant and sophisticated with fruit that lasts longest at the edges of the palate. Assertive tannins slowly dwindle on the finish.
What the Winery Says
This 100% Merlot is rich and ripe with wonderful expressions of blue berries and dark fruits. The 2007 displays a soft velvety texture with succulent flavors of plum, French vanilla and spice. Its deep ruby hue is followed by hints of underbrush, sweet mocha, black and red fruits, and dusty, loamy soil notes. This Merlot is a perfect accompaniment to barbecued chicken, pot roast or mushroom risotto.
The 2007 summer growing season was mild to cool, with few days topping 100 degrees, even in the warmest locations in the appellation. There were also notably fewer days in the 90s, and harvest followed a traditional, even relaxed, pace. There was a brief period of heat that spiked around Labor Day, with temperatures reaching into the 100’s and humidity in the teens. This heat spike added to the boost of sugar development that we were looking for to complement the excellent flavors that were developing
Awards and Ratings:
Robert Parker 88 Points~ The 2007 Merlot is more supple and seamless, although it still has some tannin to resolve. Its deep ruby hue is followed by hints of underbrush, sweet mocha, black and red fruits, and dusty, loamy soil notes
Blend: 100% Merlot
Aging: 21 months in French Oak
Alcohol: 14.7% Unfiltered
About the Winery
In 1994 our two generation enterprise, Warren and Jeanne Smith and Barr and Ann Smith, purchased 50 acres of vineyards just south of Calistoga at the upper end of the Napa Valley, an area well know for producing intense red wines. We relocated our family from Southern California seeking a life style change and to fulfill a life time dream.
In the first year the existing 25-year old Cabernet Sauvignon block was found to be badly diseased and was eliminated, leaving only one smaller block of disease resistant Cabernet Sauvignon, which was planted in 1992. The original Cabernet Sauvignon block was replanted with phylloxera resistant rootstock and clones 7 and 8 Cabernet Sauvignon. An eleven-acre block of Merlot was planted that year in a parcel that had been fallow for many years. The same year we added another parcel (4+ acres) of Merlot. Since that time, we have planted small blocks of Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, and Petite Verdot.
Our entry as a wine producer came about as the result of making a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon, which was originally meant for family consumption. The winemaker informed us that the %100 single vineyard fruit had produced an outstanding full-bodied wine with marvelous flavors, a long finish and a great mouth feel. He suggested that we sell the wine instead of using it for Family and Friend’s consumption, which we did. All 25 cases! It was an instant success.
Since 1997, we have made larger quantities of wine exclusively from these lyre-trellised, down-slope vineyards fruit and are approaching our goal of 2000 cases per year. The vineyard has its own Napa Valley microclimate, with characteristics of warm days and cool nights.
As the vineyard reaches maturity, so do the wines it produces.
Enjoy! The Smith Family