Merlot • Halter Ranch Vineyard
California: Paso Robles
Waiting for Merlot
At long last, we are so proud to welcome back to our shores one of our longest-standing favorites, LaZarre Wines. Adam LaZarre was one of the first friends that Agent Red made when Red was but a fledgling Wine Spy. This friendship has endured and our Operatives have been the real beneficiaries, with Agent Red gaining early access to Adam’s fantastic wines.
Today’s 2010 LaZarre Merlot hails from the Halter Ranch Vineyard, a westside Paso vineyard site that is considered to be the California equivalent of French Premier Cru.
This wine is very well-structured and it delivers a powerful yet elegant drinking experience that reminded many on our tasting panel, stylistically, of a big Napa Valley Cabernet.
Very highly recommended, today’s limited production treat is an expressive Merlot that packs a wallop.
Very deep and slightly inky with hues that remind us of dark cherry juice.
Bold and big with aromas of smoky cherry, sweet cedar, dried tobacco leaf, cassis, hard leather, blackberry compote and chocolate covered cherry.
Big black cherry, leather, tobacco, spice and blackberry present all across the palate. These flavors are followed by stewed stone fruit, black pepper and dark chocolate.
Very long, with great structure. Dark fruit flavors gradually give way to earth and spice. Long after fruit and spice fade, a hint of jasmine black tea persists.
Enjoy this bold, extracted wine with a fatty bleu cheese bacon burger!
What the Winery Says
2010 LaZarre Wines Paso Robles Merlot
- Tasting Notes
- The grapes for our first Paso Robles Merlot release were hand selected from the Halter Ranch Vineyard, deep in the Westside of Paso Robles and what is being considered by some as a true Premier Cru vineyard site. They were de-stemmed and fermented in small one-ton open top fermentation vats. Upon dry, the must was pressed, settled, and the wine taken down into a mix of new French, American, and neutral barrels. The wine saw two rackings over the two+ years it spent in barrel. The result is an intensely colored wine with dark aromatics of black cherry cola, cedar, clove, and pencil shavings. Flavors of plum, blackberry, and chocolate/caramel with an immense plushness at the mid-palate. A persistent thread of acidity lifts the dark fruits well into the finish. There are pretty substantial tannins that wrap around the tongue. Pair with beef, lamb, or as an aperitif.
- 100% barrel aged Merlot
- Cases Produced
- 75% New French Oak, 10% New American Oak, 15% Neutral
- Bottling date
- February 19, 2013
About the Winery
Adam LaZarre is a veteran winemaker with nearly 20 years of experience behind him. Most recently, he was the mind behind the successful Villa San-Juliette and Fat Monk line of wines in Paso Robles producing wines for the creative geniuses Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe, the Executive Producers of such shows as American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, and America’s Got Talent. Previously, he was the Vice President of Winemaking for Hahn Estates winery in Monterey County and was part of the team that created such superstar wines as Rex-Goliath and Cycles-Gladiator. Prior to that, Adam produced wines for a number of Central Coast and North Coast wineries as well as participated in the production of wines in Chile and in Spain.
Adam first fell in love with wine while serving honorably in the U.S. Navy. Rather than continue his military service, he chose to enroll in Fresno State’s highly acclaimed Enology program where he graduated, despite all the wine he drank while in school. During his studies, he fell in love with and subsequently relocated to the Central Coast of California where he produced wines for Elliston Vineyards, Jekel Winery, and Constellation Wine Company.
Adam is one of the most accoladed winemakers in California, with Best-of-Show wins at the most prestigious wine competitions in the world including the L.A. International Wine Competition where he is the only three time winner of this respected wine competition. In 2005, Adam was named “Winemaker of the Year” in the Sacramento Bee and was also named “One of the Top Five Winemakers” in the San Francisco Chronicle in 2006. Earlier in 2012, Adam was ranked #69 on IntoWine.com’s “100 Most Influential People in the US Wine Industry”.
Adam and his wife Angie are completely committed to providing the very best possible wines at any price and will continue to do so until he departs this earth. After all, wine is a gift from God and should be enjoyed responsibly or at least naked…..