2010 Oakville Merlot
California: Oakville (Napa)
Today’s 2010 Swanson Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot represents the sixth successive vintage of this fantastic wine that we have presented to you. Dark, plush and balanced with bold, bright flavors, today’s wine is among the best we have featured from Swanson.
Merlot makes for one of the most food friendly wines, and today’s example reinforces this notion. We paired ours with a delicious homemade pizza with marinara, fresh mozzarella, pineapple and Italian sausage. Juicy and bright, the wine provided the perfect palate cleanser, between bites.
Complex, balanced and very approachable, today’s fantastic wine earns our highest recommendation for a Merlot. Swanson Vineyards is best-known for their Merlot, and today’s stunning example clearly illustrates why, vintage after vintage, they earn our highest respect.
Enjoy now, but please hold a handful of bottles for the next several years. The wine will only continue to get better and better. Decant for best results.
Deepest garnet hues with a translucent core and ruby colored edges.
Massive and lush with layered aromas that just leap from the glass. Plum, blueberry, black cherry, blackberry and dark chocolate out in front. Dried dark roses and violets follow on, joined closely by sweet spice, sweet tobacco and sweet cedar.
Long and lingering with dark fruits and black pepper gradually giving way to a plushness at the edges of the palate.
Bold and youthful, this wine has a powerful beginning that settles in once it has had a chance to breathe. Dark fruit that gradually yields to bramble as a soft, subtle minerality spreads a growing dryness across the palate. At the tail end, flint and black pepper persist for a while longer.
Enjoy this full bodied wine with a Lamb tenderloin with Chianti raspberry sauce - or all on its own.
What the Winery Says
Swanson Vineyards 2010 Merlot
- Wine Profile
- Swanson Merlot, the heart and soul of our storied 100-acre Oakville Cross Road vineyard, established itself 20 vintages back and continues to set the standard of balance and consistency among all Napa and Sonoma Merlots. As complex and delicately layered as most Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons, while delighting both new and discriminating palates with its trademark drinkability, Merlot is who we are and what we do. We are Oakville’s largest producer of estate-grown Merlot, aptly and quite frequently described as the “Cab-lover’s Merlot”.
- From our mid-valley Oakville Cross Road Estate and two small vineyards near the flank of the Mayacamas range in Oakville.
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Selected from two small blocks, one adjacent to our Rutherford winery, and one in Yountville.
- Petit Verdot
- Sourced from a small block in the Oak Knoll district just south of Yountville on the valley’s eastern edge.
- Winemaker Notes
- The 2010 Swanson Oakville Merlot shows an exuberant array of aromas, including plum, black cherry, exotic spices, espresso and sweet vanilla. On the palate, there is excellent definition and considerable power, yet at the same time, the wine is long, graceful and elegant. Our restraint in using just one-third new oak allows the lush fruit and succulent ripe tannins of this wine to be front and center. This Merlot will continue to improve in the bottle, with optimum drinkability from 2015 through 2018.
- Bottling Date
- April 2013
About the Winery
We are a family winery founded on a passion for evolving the existing standards of wine and food. In the 1950s, long before founding Swanson Vineyards, the Swanson family introduced the first lifestyle product, Swanson frozen dinners, which helped women get out of the kitchen and enjoy life.
In 1985, at his 25th Stanford University reunion, W. Clarke Swanson, Jr. was inspired by a tip from a fraternity brother and successful vintner to purchase a parcel of vineyard land on the Oakville Cross Road in the heart of Napa Valley.
Clarke immediately hired André Tchelistcheff, one of the century’s most influential winemakers, as a consultant to help determine how to make the best use of the vineyards. For André the answer was to plant the then relatively unknown variety merlot—a move that would shape the future of Swanson Vineyards.
The family continues to expand the simple and sensual pleasures of life through Swanson Vineyards. With an eye toward quality, relevance and innovation, the next generation is enticing a whole new audience with a progressive approach to wine, food and the good life.
About The Winemakers
By the summer of 1987 the vineyards were replanted, and André made another influential suggestion—to hire the young novice talent Marco Cappelli to oversee winemaking. Marco, a first-generation Italian-American, was 26 and hired based on André’s gut instinct. It was a wise decision; Marco’s distinctive wines became the founding flavors of Swanson Vineyards.
For the rest of his life André lent his visionary talents to our winemaking pursuits, meeting with Marco biweekly and consulting on matters of the vine and winery. Marco remained Swanson’s winemaker for seventeen years, after which he purchased his own vineyard in the California Foothills. Marco is currently making four dessert wines for Swanson, which include Angelica, Crepuscule, Arsene, and Les Trois Filles.
In 2003, Swanson Vineyards was fortunate to obtain the talent of Chris Phelps as its new winemaker. Chris has had an illustrious career in the wine industry, first as winemaker at Dominus for twelve years and at Caymus Vineyards for six years. His wines are more refined and sophisticated than ever, yet they remain delightfully accessible and approachable—the perfect embodiment of our trademark decadence with a wink.