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Peter Franus, Merlot, Napa Valley, California, 2017

Regular price $30.00

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Overview of the Wine
The story of Peter Franus – the person, the winery, the wine – may just be the Great American Wine Fairy Tale.          

It includes a man searching for a path who could not ignore his calling. It includes hard-earned lessons from a rung-by-rung climb up the wine ladder, and graceful and delicious wine born of experience, tradition and intuition. And, of course, it includes romance.

Peter Franus is a respected Napa Valley winemaker and an insider secret in the wine industry. For 30 years, he’s bonded with the mountain and hillside vineyards of the region, and particularly Mount Veeder on the southwestern flank of the Valley. He has made friends and found avid supporters who connect to his disarming wit and earnest approach to winemaking and to life, he has spent decades choosing the best vineyards, and he has produced small batches of highly praised, soulful and, most of all, delicious wine. He’s expanded in Canada, and has gotten great response for his events there from people who have a lot of respect for the food and wine culture. And Peter has solid followings in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Czech Republic, and the UK, and is also selling in places like Belgium, Norway, China, Romania, and Slovenia.

Peter’s vineyards and winemaking continue to shine. At the end of the 2012 harvest, Peter was showing around an international vineyard management expert who had a thing for merlot and who had worked with some of the great merlot houses on the planet, in the US, Spain. And France. They tried Peter’s 2011 merlot, which was still in the barrel and still very young. “When he tasted it, his eyeballs expanded.” Peter says. “He looked at me for a second. Then all he said was, ‘wow’

Grape / Blend

Stewart Vineyard Carneros, Napa Valley, California

Winemaker's Tasting Notes
Guess what? Merlot is on the rebound! Suddenly it’s becoming hip again to like a wine that has been out of fashion in recent years. When it realizes its potential, Merlot offers one of the most pleasurable of all red wine experiences, and so many seem to forget that some of the most highly regarded and sought-after wines in the world come from Pomerol and Saint-Émilion, the land of Merlot.

Our crusade has been made easier with the magnificent grapes coming off the Stewart Vineyard in Carneros. Thirty-five years of winemaking experience has provided me with this insight: you know you are growing the right grape in the right location when it performs year after year. I can say this unequivocally about Stewart Vineyard Merlot. Even in the most difficult vintages it has consistently delivered, and it is typically the “go-to” wine in the barrel room because it tastes so good right from the start.

What a growing season! Torrential rains and flooding in the winter gave way to periodic blasts of heat. Labor Day weekend was the most extreme, with temperature in San Francisco 105+ -- unheard of! The winter rains definitely helped all the varieties at Stewart as they began the growing season much less stressed than the last couple of vintages. Despite the heat, our Merlot hung on the vine for another week, and arrived with the numbers and flavors we were aiming for.

Deep ruby, bordering on opaque, our 2017 Merlot offers a captivating and complex nose of black cherry, plum, thyme, and sweet oak notes. The wine continues to open revealing ripe plum and darker notes. The flavors reflect the nose with a perfect harmony of tannin, acid and fruit. Although offering plenty of pleasure now, the wine is clearly destined to age and develop for many years.

Our 2017 Merlot is a paragon of balance and is in the forefront for the title of “deliciousness!”

Product size: 750ml

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