2010 Oakville Merlot
California: Oakville (Napa)
Today’s 2010 Swanson Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot represents the sixth successive vintage of this fantastic wine that we have presented to you. Dark, plush and balanced with bold, bright flavors, today’s wine is among the best we have featured from Swanson.
Merlot makes for one of the most food friendly wines, and today’s example reinforces this notion. We paired ours with a delicious homemade pizza with marinara, fresh mozzarella, pineapple and Italian sausage. Juicy and bright, the wine provided the perfect palate cleanser, between bites.
Complex, balanced and very approachable, today’s fantastic wine earns our highest recommendation for a Merlot. Swanson Vineyards is best-known for their Merlot, and today’s stunning example clearly illustrates why, vintage after vintage, they earn our highest respect.
Enjoy now, but please hold a handful of bottles for the next several years. The wine will only continue to get better and better. Decant for best results.
Deepest garnet hues with a translucent core and ruby colored edges.
Massive and lush with layered aromas that just leap from the glass. Plum, blueberry, black cherry, blackberry and dark chocolate out in front. Dried dark roses and violets follow on, joined closely by sweet spice, sweet tobacco and sweet cedar.
Long and lingering with dark fruits and black pepper gradually giving way to a plushness at the edges of the palate.
Bold and youthful, this wine has a powerful beginning that settles in once it has had a chance to breathe. Dark fruit that gradually yields to bramble as a soft, subtle minerality spreads a growing dryness across the palate. At the tail end, flint and black pepper persist for a while longer.
Enjoy this full bodied wine with a Lamb tenderloin with Chianti raspberry sauce - or all on its own.
What the Winery Says
Swanson Vineyards 2010 Merlot
- Wine Profile
- Swanson Merlot, the heart and soul of our storied 100-acre Oakville Cross Road vineyard, established itself 20 vintages back and continues to set the standard of balance and consistency among all Napa and Sonoma Merlots. As complex and delicately layered as most Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons, while delighting both new and discriminating palates with its trademark drinkability, Merlot is who we are and what we do. We are Oakville’s largest producer of estate-grown Merlot, aptly and quite frequently described as the “Cab-lover’s Merlot”.
- From our mid-valley Oakville Cross Road Estate and two small vineyards near the flank of the Mayacamas range in Oakville.
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Selected from two small blocks, one adjacent to our Rutherford winery, and one in Yountville.
- Petit Verdot
- Sourced from a small block in the Oak Knoll district just south of Yountville on the valley’s eastern edge.
- Winemaker Notes
- The 2010 Swanson Oakville Merlot shows an exuberant array of aromas, including plum, black cherry, exotic spices, espresso and sweet vanilla. On the palate, there is excellent definition and considerable power, yet at the same time, the wine is long, graceful and elegant. Our restraint in using just one-third new oak allows the lush fruit and succulent ripe tannins of this wine to be front and center. This Merlot will continue to improve in the bottle, with optimum drinkability from 2015 through 2018.
- Bottling Date
- April 2013
About the Winery
Swanson Vineyards owns 100 acres along the Oakville Cross Road in Oakville, located next to Opus One and Silver Oak Cellars. Swanson soils are part of geological history dating back to the formation of Napa Valley. The soils on the valley floor are clay loam, alluvial in nature, laid down as sediment from the frequent flooding over the millenia. It is here that our 100 acres produce wines of great elegance and finesse.
It is to these soils that Swanson Vineyards’ wines owe their wonderful aromas, flavors and complexities. The vines are further nurtured by the use of a variety of rootstock, clones, spacing and trellis systems, all selected to enhance the capabilities of the soil. The winemaker’s challenge is to ensure that all the potential of our vineyards is captured and reflected in our wines.
Winemaker Robin Akhurst
Robin Akhurst’s road to Napa took him around the globe through eight consecutive and exhausting harvests, picking up an impressive list of mentors along the way. Robin came to Napa Valley in 2009, working with winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown of Outpost and Schrader Cellars. He joined Envy Cellars as winemaker in 2010 where he has made the highly regarded Envy and Carter wines. A native of Scotland, Robin brings vast international experience from the cellars of New Zealand (where he received a graduate degree in viticulture and enology from Lincoln University in Christchurch), France** and Australia including Two Hands Winery in the Barossa Valley and Domaine Leflaive in Burgundy.
Robin deftly leads the winemaking team, including Assistant Winemaker Tony Herrera, who has been with us for 11 years, and Chris Phelps with his new, honorable “Winemaker Emeritus” title. Not only do we have the continuity of our seasoned team, we have a fresh and talented new palate to help guide the Swanson wines to the next level. Marco Capelli continues to make the Swanson Vineyards dessert wines including Angelica, Crepescule and Tardif.
Swanson Vineyards’ alluvial soils are part of geologic history dating back to the formation of Napa Valley where frequent flooding of the Napa River over the millennia laid down clay loam sediment. It is here in the heart of Oakville that our 100 acres produce wines of great elegance and finesse.
Sustainable Farming Practices
Certified as sustainably farmed by Fish Friendly Farming, Swanson Vineyards’ wines owe their wonderful aromas, flavors and complexities to the soil and vineyard management. The vines are nurtured by the use of spacing, and trellis systems all selected to parallel the capabilities of the soil. Our mission is to ensure that the potential of our vineyards is captured and reflected in our wines.