2007 Napa Valley Merlot
California: Napa Valley
Nils Venge holds an important distinction; he was the first California winemaker to receive a perfect 100 point score (from Robert Parker). Since then, only a small handful of California winemakers have attained this level of recognition.
It is with great glee, today, that we welcome back Nils - and his stupendous 2007 Napa Valley Merlot. This wine, from the 96 point 2007 vintage, is sourced from the winery’s own Oakville estate vineyards and from a vineyard that was, immediately after harvest, sold to Duckhorn.
This delicious wine is a very well-structured Merlot with loads of chewy flavors and complexity. Quantity is limited for this very highly recommended wine so please act quickly.
Deep, dark and opaque with sanguine hues that give the wine an intriguing look.
Dark fruit of ripe blackberry, black plum and braised mission fig meld with sandalwood, pipe tobacco, dried dark rose petal, cracked leather and a hint of eucalyptus.
Smoky, dusty and dark with braised plum, cassis, dark raisin, roasted mission fig, dark tobacco, subtle mixed baking spice.
Chewy and very long lasting, with pronounced black fruit that lingers, gradually yielding to even longer-lasting spice, tobacco and dried earth components.
Merlot is one of the most universally pairable wine, but we’ll enjoy this wine a grilled New York steak smothered with crimini mushrooms.
What the Winery Says
The Merlot was sourced from grapes grown from our Oakville estate, where we have one and one-half acres planted, and blended with our Napa Corktree Vineyard. This was the final vintage using Corktree fruit before the vineyard was sold to Duckhorn Vineyards post harvest. We feel this wine is a classic style worthy of distinction as a blend from the best of Napa Valley vineyard sites.
About the Winery
Here at Saddleback Cellars, we take every step to assure the highest quality wines from grape to bottle. Our goal is to produce wines that are true to their varietal and place; we limit production to only five to six thousand cases a year to further our goal of making truly hand-crafted wines of the highest quality.
Winemaker/owner Nils Venge and Lars, our assistant winemaker, use traditional winemaking techniques to assure well balanced wines that are easy to drink young and, with the proper cellar conditions, age with grace and beauty.
Winemaker Nils Venge
Born to Danish immigrants, Nils’ exposure to wine came at an early age: his parents operated a wine and liquor import and distribution company in Southern California. Nils continued his pursuit of wine at the University of California in Davis where he earned a BS in Viticulture in 1967.
Following graduation he moved to the Napa Valley to pursue his interest in winemaking. In the subsequent years, he worked for notable wineries, such as Charles Krug, Sterling, Villa Mount Eden and Groth. During his tenure at Groth, Nils became the first American winemaker to receive a perfect 100 point rating from Wine Critic Robert Parker Jr. for the 1985 Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, which catapulted him to a venerated position in the California wine industry.
Saddleback Cellars is a small winery located off dead-end Money Road in Oakville, California. We sit at just about the 50-yard line of the valley.
Our vineyard comprises a total of 14.8 acres where we grow six varietals. As it is, 8.4 acres are planted in Cabernet Sauvignon, 2.9 acres in Chardonnay, 1.75 acres in Merlot, 1.1 acres in Pinot Blanc, 0.3 acres in Pinot Grigio and 0.3 acres in Zinfandel.
All of our grapes are hand-picked and rushed right to our onsite crush pad where we begin the winemaking process right away. Come see the action between late August and late October of each year.