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Souverain Merlot Alexander Valley 2004

Winemaker's Notes:

The grapes for this Merlot are sourced from Souverain's 120-year-old Alexander Valley estate, along with select hillside and benchland vineyards. These vineyards are located on an inland expanse of the Russian River that channels early evening breezes to cool the valley's warm afternoons. The moderated warm climate, as well as the volcanic and alluvial soils of the valley, allows the grapes to ripen evenly and retain their balanced acidity.2005 proved to be an exceptional vintage-the stuff of dreams. Not since the harvest of 1997 has the wine crop shown such generous abundance and flavors of such distinction. The growing season itself was remarkable: the month of May was the wettest in 117 years; June was unusually cool and late rains sparked an unusually prolific vigor in the vines. While July was typical and summer-like, the remainder of the season was unusually mild. A moderate early fall combined with the extra large crop made the harvest later than expected. While "crush" lasted about nine weeks, the majority of it occurred in a very compressed four-week period. Extended "hang time" gave the grapes an opportunity to develop to a level of maturity and flavor intensity of which every winemaker dreams.Winemaker Ed Killian chose classic winemaking techniques, including pumpovers three times per day to extract and retain maximum flavor density from these high quality grapes. 13% Cabernet Sauvignon was blended in to add depth, complexity and structure to this Merlot, which was aged 12 months in European and American oak barrels - 36% of which was new oak. As has been tradition at Souverain, Killian kept each vineyard lot of Merlot separate through aging to capture special vineyard nuances and quality opportunities when blending.Deep ruby in color, this concentrated Alexander Valley Merlot offers classic aromas of ripe black plum, blueberry and currant. The core of vibrant fruit balances nicely with the soft, round tannins creating a lush and juicy mouthfeel. Notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, which come from aging in oak barrels, meld nicely with the rich fruit and lead to a long, velvety finish.Wine News | October/November 2007Intense aromas of plum, leather and oak. Rich, creamy flavors of black cherry and blackberry. Chewy tannins and impressions of black cherry and mocha in the lingering close.

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Chateau Souverain:
At Souverain, our goal is to make authentic wines that are the best expression of each varietal and Alexander Valley. We believe our consumers deserve to drink great wine every night, so our wines are exceptional & attainable. Our love affair with producing wines has stretched back over 60 years and during that time our award winning wines have received numerous accolades and praise from the wine press.

The grapes for this Merlot are sourced from Souverain's 120-year-old Alexander Valley estate, along with select hillside and benchland vineyards. These vineyards are located on an inland expanse of the Russian River that channels early evening breezes to cool the valley's warm afternoons. The moderated warm climate, as well as the volcanic and alluvial soils of the valley, allows the grapes to ripen evenly and retain their balanced acidity.2005 proved to be an exceptional vintage-the stuff of dreams. Not since the harvest of 1997 has the wine crop shown such generous abundance and flavors of such distinction. The growing season itself was remarkable: the month of May was the wettest in 117 years; June was unusually cool and late rains sparked an unusually prolific vigor in the vines. While July was typical and summer-like, the remainder of the season was unusually mild. A moderate early fall combined with the extra large crop made the harvest later than expected. While "crush" lasted about nine weeks, the majority of it occurred in a very compressed four-week period. Extended "hang time" gave the grapes an opportunity to develop to a level of maturity and flavor intensity of which every winemaker dreams.Winemaker Ed Killian chose classic winemaking techniques, including pumpovers three times per day to extract and retain maximum flavor density from these high quality grapes. 13% Cabernet Sauvignon was blended in to add depth, complexity and structure to this Merlot, which was aged 12 months in European and American oak barrels - 36% of which was new oak. As has been tradition at Souverain, Killian kept each vineyard lot of Merlot separate through aging to capture special vineyard nuances and quality opportunities when blending.Deep ruby in color, this concentrated Alexander Valley Merlot offers classic aromas of ripe black plum, blueberry and currant. The core of vibrant fruit balances nicely with the soft, round tannins creating a lush and juicy mouthfeel. Notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, which come from aging in oak barrels, meld nicely with the rich fruit and lead to a long, velvety finish.Wine News | October/November 2007Intense aromas of plum, leather and oak. Rich, creamy flavors of black cherry and blackberry. Chewy tannins and impressions of black cherry and mocha in the lingering close.

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