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  • ST: 88

    Stephen Tanzer Score

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  • WA: 88

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    88

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Atalon Merlot Napa Valley 2003

Winemaker's Notes:

Deals plenty of sweet oak as well as berry, cherry, and plum-like fruit, and hints of underbrush and smoke. Round, moderately generous, and seductive, it will provide pleasure over the next 3-4 years. It is hard to find good, classic Merlot from California selling at a realistic price, but Atalon delivers the goods.

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Atalon:
With its recent debut, Atalon has emerged on the wine scene with a provenance firmly rooted in the Napa Valley. The soul of the Atalon story is a ghost winery dating back to 1888. Built by General W.S. Keyes, the white-stone building atop Howell Mountain claims a stake in Napa Valley viticultural lore. At the turn of the twentieth century, General Keyes was producing wines considered to be amon... Read more
With its recent debut, Atalon has emerged on the wine scene with a provenance firmly rooted in the Napa Valley. The soul of the Atalon story is a ghost winery dating back to 1888. Built by General W.S. Keyes, the white-stone building atop Howell Mountain claims a stake in Napa Valley viticultural lore. At the turn of the twentieth century, General Keyes was producing wines considered to be among the best in Napa County from this old landmark. From the 1970's the Cabernet Sauvignon vines surrounding the winery helped to establish the reputation of several boutique Napa wineries, including Liparita, Duckhorn and La Jota. In 1996 the famed Howell Mountain property was renamed the Keyes Vineyard in honor of the early farmer's pioneering viticultural contributions. Today, the historic ghost winery stands as a strong reminder of a 150-year old tradition of growing wine grapes within the thirty-mile stretch of the Napa Valley frontier. In 1997, Atalon was created to revive the vineyard's past accomplishments and to build on the area's reputation for producing remarkable red wines. Although inspired by ghosts long gone, Atalon wines reflect a modern understanding of farming Napa's rugged mountains and valleys for the most balanced and expressive wines. To integrate the diverse flavors found throughout the Napa Valley, the wines take us beyond the ridges of Howell Mountain into the broader domain of neighboring appellations. Atalon wines are a comprehensive exploration of the Napa Valley appellation. Drawing fruit from selected vineyards, the wines are a composite of vineyards stretching from the rolling hills of Napa-Carneros in the south to the peaks of Howell Mountain in the north. Atalon is dedicated to the true essence and flavor of the Napa Valley, a distinction defined by Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Vineyards are chosen for proven quality from the best known districts known to grow high quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, including Oakville, Rutherford, Mount Veeder, Atlas Peak, Napa Carneros and Howell Mountain. Atalon produces two tiers of wine: a Napa Valley designated Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and a Mountain Estate designated Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The Napa Valley wines are packed with ripe, opulent fruit, gentle tannins and rich textures long associated with the Napa Valley. The Mountain Estate wines are focused expressions of mountain fruit - dense, powerful with ripe flavors and bold structure. Read less

Member Reviews for Atalon Merlot Napa Valley

Add your review
Snooth User: Philip James
112,550
3.50 5
03/16/2009

Very rich wine with a jammy nose. Really soft and well balanced with a rich silky finish.


Snooth User: George Parkinson
220047883
5.00 5
07/23/2009

Color-Deep Garnet; Nose-Berry, Cola & Plum; Mouth-Cedar, coco, & cherry; Finish-Long; Buy It, Age It, Share it.


External Reviews for Atalon Merlot Napa Valley

External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
01/28/2011

The 2003 Merlot reveals plenty of sweet oak as well as berry, cherry, and plum-like fruit, and hints of underbrush and smoke. Round, moderately generous, and seductive, it will provide pleasure over the next 3-4 years. The pricing is fair for this cuvee, and there are 3,800 cases. Good ruby-red. Plum, mocha and dark chocolate on the nose. Fat, sweet and approachable, with easygoing flavors of plum and dark raspberry. Finishes with dusty, slightly dry tannins and a hint of menthol. On the simple side, but not bad. ** Only 9 in Stock **


External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
11/25/2009

RP: 88 Points ST: 88 Points



Deals plenty of sweet oak as well as berry, cherry, and plum-like fruit, and hints of underbrush and smoke. Round, moderately generous, and seductive, it will provide pleasure over the next 3-4 years. It is hard to find good, classic Merlot from California selling at a realistic price, but Atalon delivers the goods.

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