2003 Vintner Select Merlot

2003 Vintner Select Merlot

Designed to allow us to focus our attention on one outstanding block of estate Merlot each vintage, the Mountain Top vineyard again shown most brightly in 2003. As a component in our 2003 Napa/Sonoma Merlot (released earlier this year) and our Reserve Claret it contributes aromatics of ripe, dark cherries and richly concentrated flavors of dark, ripe blackberries graced with cedar and a bit of espresso. As a vineyard designate it is simply a must have wine. Built to impress early, it also possesses a structure that will allow it to age elegantly for decades.

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Appellation: Sonoma County
Vintage: 2003
Harvest: October 2003
Fermentation: Alcholic & Malolactic in Stainless Steel Tanks
Cooperage: French Oak
Blend: 100% Merlot
Alcohol: 14.6%
Bottling: September 2003
Production: 445 cases
Release Date: December 2005
Release Price: $75.00


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  • Wine & Spirits: 88 - Rating:

    Gentle and round, this wine's flavors are ripened to the warmth of prunes and chocolate. It's intense, smoky and thick, the flavors paralleling zin more than merlot.

  • The Wine Advocate: December 26, 2006 Issue 168 - Rating: 91

    The outstanding 2003 Merlot Vintner's Select Mountaintop Vineyard exhibits a dense ruby/purple color in addition to a generous nose of toffee, berry fruit, espresso roast, and toasty oak, supple tannin, and a lush, opulent, fruity, complex style. It should drink well for 7-8 years.

  • Wine Spectator: October 31, 2005 - Rating: 87

    Rich, supple and harmonious, with fleshy currant, blackberry and plum flavors that are thick and mouth-coating. Shows a chocolate-mocha edge. Firms up on the finish, with a dash of heat and firm, chewy tannins. Drink now through 2010. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 450 cases made.