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Cairdean Merlot Carneros Napa Valley 2012

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Forget about the Sideways movie and the bad press on Merlot (it’s so 2004 anyway), this terrific Carneros Merlot will make a great purchase for anyone looking to stack on a tasty and ready to drink wine that comes with a super friendly price tag. Cairdean is an old Scottish Gaelic term meaning “friends” and it’s a fitting moniker to describe this wine made to be enjoyed with some company on any occasions.  Sourced from the critically-acclaimed hillsides of the Carneros AVA, this is a seductively expressive Merlot showing plenty of bright, vibrant fruit and a soft, gentle palate presence. 

About the wine

Napa’s generational 2012 harvest produced tremendous grapes at every turn. While this made it easy to produce a good wine, it also provided a perfect platform for skilled winemakers to show off their talent like never before. It was an opportunity Cairdean winemaker Stacia Dowdell seized with great zeal, as this outstanding Merlot clearly demonstrates. Stacia’s skills resulted in a darkly hued beauty whose jammy fruit essence is rounded by bright acidity and a lilting mouthfeel. Enticing aromas of cherries, dried figs, dark fruit jam, and berries co-mingle on the nose with notes of spice and smoky oak. These essences land pillow-soft upon the palate, paving the way for concentrated fruit bursts to emerge. Velvety tannins lead to a lengthy finish. This is a label that will inspire the wine lover still influenced by that one quote from “Sideways” to get re-acquainted with Merlot’s magic.

Winemaker: Stacia Dowdell
AppellationCarneros
Accolades:
92 pts, Christopher Sawyer, Somm to the Stars
- 4.0/5.0, Vivino Users
Grapes: Merlot
Vineyards: Carneros Vineyards
ABV: 14.6% 

About the winery & vineyards

Change has always been a part of Cairdean. The very grounds that the winery stands on today used to be a premium outlet shopping center way back when. The winery’s not even known as Cairdean Vineyards anymore, as founder/winemaker Stacia Dowdell rebranded the property as Brasswood in 2016 to match the moniker of the property’s rechristened restaurant. Yet with all these changes, one thing remains constant: Stacia remains wholly committed to cranking out one memorable wine after another. It’s a passionate drive that inspires Stacia to relentlessly pursue grapes that best suit her impeccable vision.  For this stunning Merlot, she turned to the Carneros AVA; the critically adored Napa-Sonoma region whose combination of gentle maritime breezes, limited rainfall, and thin clay soils conspire to produce intense fruit that virtually burst with complexity. Stacia gingerly coaxes every drop of nuance from these special grapes, resulting in a pure expression of terroir that’s poised to stand the test of time, not to mention a winery name change.

About the winemaker

Stacia Dowdell made her first California wine some 3,000 miles east of Napa Valley. She was living in the Boston area when her deep appreciation for wine compelled her to order Golden State grapes through a local beer and wine shop. The resulting vintage-by-proxy was the spark that eventually propelled her West; a journey that culminated in the launch of Cairdean Vineyards in 2010. The thrill she experienced crafting her first bottles is stronger than ever, bolstered further by a razor-sharp acumen honed by a degree in Enology & Viticulture from Fresno State. This combination of passion and viticultural knowledge ultimately is the engine that drives Stacia’s winemaking philosophy; a belief that wine is an experience meant to be shared by close friends and loved ones.

92 pts - Christopher Sawyer, Somm to the Stars 

Running along the northern edge of San Pablo Bay between Napa and Sonoma counties, the Carneros appellation is widely known for producing premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes used to make world-class still wines and some of the top sparkling wines of America. But one of the other gems in the region is Merlot, which grows in windy maritime conditions similar to those in the Right Bank of the Bordeaux region of France, where Merlot was mastered before becoming the most popular red grape variety in America in the 1980s and 90s.

Today, that still holds true with the complex flavors of wine you get from producers who are committed to the craft of working with pristine grapes grown from Carneros. The latest offering of this style is the Cairdean 2012 Merlot.

In Scottish Gaelic, “caridean” means friends. It’s a perfect title for this elegant and sophisticated wine, which immediately greets you with lofty aromas of ripe red fruits, leather, tobacco and smoky oak. On the palate, the flavors are rich and expressive with lavish notes of dark cherry, raspberry, plum, red currant, and subtle hints of mint, mocha, roasted nuts, and savory spices. As the wine opens up, these flavors are complimented with a velvety texture, firm tannins, and a lingering finish. Overall, an excellent example of a complex Merlot from the dynamic 2012 vintage.

With fine cuisine, try this full-bodied wine with grilled vegetables, risotto with wild mushrooms, pork tenderloin with berry chutney, hearty stews, juicy steaks, and rack of lamb".

 

 

 

Other Details

Alcohol percentage:
14.6
#headline:
Time to be re-acquainted with Merlot’s Magic!
offer_subject:
Not a Typo 4.0★ $14.99 Carneros Napa Merlot - 50% Off
offer_subject:
Not a Typo 4.0★ $14.99 Carneros Napa Merlot - 50% Off
offer_pre_header:
Here is a good excuse to gather your wine savvy friends and show them you’re the smart buyer in the group with this killer deal!
offer_email_text:
Here is a good excuse to gather your wine savvy friends and show them you’re the smart buyer in the group with this killer deal!
offer_highlight:
Small Production
offer_highlight:
100% Carneros Merlot
offer_highlight:
Lowest Price in the Country
#quantity:
6
#quantity_increment:
1
#stock:
708
#offer_end_date:
2017-4-20 23:59:00 -08:00:00
#review=Christopher Sawyer, Somm to the Stars:
92 / 100
#stars_review=Vivino Users, (4.0):
4.0/5
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0
#show_products_sold_only:
1
#show_products_left_only:
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#shipping:
Free shipping on 6 or more bottles - mix & match all wines!
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Expires Today: Cairdean Under $15 Napa Merlot
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