Grgich Hills Estate
2007 Estate Merlot
California: Napa Valley
Best in Show
This wine is, by far, the greatest 2007 Merlot that we have ever tasted! With a bevy of complex dark fruit flavors that combine, in equal proportion, with earth and spice, this is one fantastic wine.
The winemaking team at Grgich Hills Estate, led by Mike Grgich’s nephew and longstanding winemaker, Ivo Jeramaz, shows its remarkable skill with this wine. Winemaker since 1986, Ivo has continuously impressed us with his wines. Today’s 2007 Estate Merlot is a deep, rich, complex and chewy wine that our entire tasting panel just went crazy for.
This is a big wine, but it’s not over-the-top. It is certainly long on flavor and deep aromatics, but everything is held in such perfect balance here. Please note, though, that you may wish to pair this big Merlot as you would a Cabernet Sauvignon. A nice, juicy, pepper rub steak would do very nicely.
Robert Parker gave the entire 2007 vintage a stellar 96 point score. Today’s very highly recommended 2007 is among the best that we have tried.
Deep, dark ruby, with a darker, iridescent core. At the edge of the glass, a light ruby ring cuts a fine swath around the wine. After a good swirl, chubby, wine-stained legs are slow to emerge before they streak down the glass.
Bold, sweet and filled with life, this wine leads with beautiful being cherry, raspberry and wild strawberry. As the wine opens up begins to reveal gorgeous aromatic spiced cherry, jammy blackberry, sweet brown spice, subtle pipe tobacco, dried fall leaves and a hint of black pepper.
Dark, concentrated and very rich, this complex wine leads with darkest blackberry, dried black cherry, dried cranberry and fall leaves. After the wine has had a chance to breathe, it reveals additional complex flavors including dried black flowers, cigarbox, flinty minerals, sweet Plum, cocoa beans and black pepper.
Ultra along with lingering black fruit flavors that, as the wine drives the palate, gradually yield to more earthy flavors. At the very end, the mouth is left with a plush, dry reminder of the delicious flavors that were just enjoyed.
What the Winery Says
This is a Cabernet lover’s Merlot! Packed with flavors of cherries, blackberries and a hint of dried herbs on the finish, this wine’s rich, complex mouth feel makes it perfect with beef tenderloin, rack of lamb or barbecued pork.
About the Winery
Miljenko “Mike” Grgich first gained a reputation as one of the greatest winemakers in the world at the celebrated “Paris Tasting” of 1976. Eminent French judges chose Mike’s 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay as the finest white wine in the world. Mon Dieu!
The Paris Tasting served notice to the world that the California wine industry was on the move, and it laid the groundwork for the creation of Grgich Hills Cellar. Today, we remain committed to making distinctive wines with quality, consistency and longevity. We are proud that world leaders such as Presidents Reagan and Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II and French President François Mitterrand chose our wines to serve at state dinners, but we are just as proud that every single day discriminating wine drinkers count on Grgich Hills to turn their own dinners into special occasions.
Winemaker Ivo Jeramaz
Ivo was born in Croatia to a family of grape growers and as boy he assisted in making wine for his family’s enjoyment. In 1986, with the help of his uncle, Miljenko “Mike” Grgich, Ivo followed his dream and came to Napa Valley.
He quickly fell in love with the scenic beauty of the area and became fascinated with wine making. During his almost-three decades at Grgich Hills Ivo has worked his way up in responsibility, learning the classic style and art of winemaking from his uncle, supported by the tools of science and technology.
While he has taken enology and viticulture courses at UC Davis, Ivo says, “I’ve learned more working in the vineyards and in the winery with Mike.” Under the guidance of his uncle, Ivo is now responsible for the day-to-day operations in the cellar and the vineyard.
“At Grgich Hills, we grow grapes like my grandfather did, farming without chemicals and pesticides,” Ivo says. “Mike taught me early in my career that you need great grapes to make great wine. Over the years, I’ve focused on working with the land. Through our natural farming, it’s been very rewarding to see the soil alive with healthier plants than under conventional farming. It allows the wines to be more authentic—more distinctive.”