2007 Estate Bottled Merlot
Merlot •Freethy-Monticello Vineyard
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: Sass in your Glass
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate Hagafan Cellars, a Napa Valley gem found along the Silverado Trail in the Napa Valley. Taste their range of wines and procure a standout red for our deserving Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Hagafen Cellars
Wine Subject: 2007 Estate Bottled Merlot, Napa Valley
Winemaker: Ernie Weir
Backgrounder: Hagafen Cellars produces a diverse selection of prized varietals while remaining a hidden gem among wine industry giants. Nestled along the Silverado Trail in the exciting Stags Leap District, Hagafen Cellars is a gold medal-winning winery that crafts small lots of distinctive and delicious wines.
To true wine lovers, Merlot is one of the finest wine varietals in the world. Today, Merlot continues to sell in record numbers across the US, outpacing most other varietals. Merlot is sincere, food-fabulous wine for serious wine drinkers. If you think that Merlot is not for you, forget everything that you think you know about Merlot and embrace this stellar example.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark ruby hues with dazzling highlights out at the edge of the wine. The clear core shows a deeper, garnet quality. When swirled, skinny legs march steadily down the side of the glass. These are followed by slower, chubby legs.
Smell – Richly layered and very full on the nose, this wine leads with black cherry, fresh earth and raspberry. Just beneath these, cassis, fennel, cocoa bean and brown spices add notes that round out the nose.
Feel – Smooth and semi-dry, this rich and expansive wine is full-bodied, with balanced firm and fine tannins. A solid backbone softens as the wine breaths. With lively acidity and a flinty minerality that support a long finish.
Taste – Ripe and dense, with bold red and black cherry in the lead. Then, blackberry, raspberry, cassis and anise mix with earthy notes, spice, cocoa powder, toasty vanilla and soft oak.
Finish – Long and rich, with cherry, earth, soft spice and minerals lingering long into the finish. Minerals and fruit seem to cling to the entire palate, long after the wine is gone.
Conclusion – The 2007 Estate Bottled Merlot really pleased our tasting panel. This wine is lush, bold, flavorful and still elegant and well-balanced. 2007 was an exceptional vintage for Napa Valley wines, and this Merlot is among the best we have had the benefit to try. With a bold and earthy nose, bright flavors and a perfectly balanced acidity, this wine is a perfect solo-sipper, but we get excited at the notion of pairing it with a rich pasta dish or a grilled steak. Enjoy this wine now, but also cellar a few bottles for the next 5 to 7 years.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Hagafen Cellars Estate vineyards and winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
92 Points, Gold Medal, “Exceptional” – World Wine Championships
About This Wine:
A perennial favorite of many in the Valley, our 2007 Napa Valley Estate Bottled Merlot, from the Freethy-Monticello Vineyard in the Eastern foothills, is highly aromatic, showing dusty rose petal, cherry licorice, cinnamon, and cloves. Deep ruby-garnet in color, and a classic Californian “Right Bank” wine, this mouth-watering and long-finishing Merlot presents notes of black cherry, black licorice, roasted cocoa, and pumpkin pie spices, accented by silky tannins.
About The Winery:
Hagafen Cellars is located in the Napa Valley, in the heart of California’s premier wine grape region. Less than a mile south of the famed Stags leap District and twenty yards from the Oak Knoll District—Napa’s newest and most exciting of American Viticultural Areas—our well-drained soil is ideal for the growth and production of ripe and rich, intensely fruity small lot estate bottled wines. Owned and operated by Irit and Ernie Weir, the winery was founded in 1979, and the first commercially released vintage was harvested in 1980. In the ensuing years, we have grown from a small partnership producing wine with grapes from Winery Lake Vineyard, then owned by Rene DiRosa, to a well-established wine company whose wines are distributed throughout North America and overseas. Since 1980 our wines have been served on numerous occasions at the White House to visiting foreign dignitaries. The cornerstone of our lives are the Silverado Trail winery and tasting room and our two estate vineyards in the eastern benchland of the Napa Valley.
Ernie’s daily involvement in the two sides of wine production, grape growing and winemaking, ensures the superb quality of our wines. “Fine wine starts in the vineyard with careful vineyard management,” says Weir. “I strive to take maximum advantage of the Napa Valley’s natural geology and climate to produce the best wine varietals. I interfere as little as possible with the soil, creating a balance that minimizes the chemical and erosion impact by using modern farming techniques while maintaining the age-old wisdom of balance and the traditional values of conservation and land stewardship. Once harvest is completed, I undertake the second part of my job, winemaking. This presents an interesting challenge every time since each year the growing season and harvest are unique and different. I never seek to change what Nature has provided. My goal is to showcase the best that our land has produced.”
We look forward to meeting you here in Napa at our winery and tasting room on the Silverado Trail.
Family, Tradition, Excellence: Think Hagafen!
About The Winemaker:
Ernie Weir – “I interfere as little as possible with the soil, creating a balance that minimizes the chemical and erosion impact by using time honored farming techniques while maintaining the age-old wisdom of balance and the traditional values of conservation and land stewardship. Once harvest is completed, I undertake the second part of my job, winemaking. This presents an interesting challenge every time since each year the growing season and harvest are unique and different. I never seek to change what Nature has provided. My goal is to showcase the best that our land has produced.”
“Passion, soul, and enjoyment—without all three, you don’t have a fine wine.”
Appellation: Napa Valley
Harvest Date: September 5th, 2007
Sugar: 23.8° Brix at harvest