2011 Oakville Estate Napa Valley Merlot
Merlot •Oakville Estate Vineyard
California: Napa Valley: Oakville
King of Cab... MERLOT!
Nils Venge, our favorite 100 point winemaker, is back - with his delectable Saddleback Cellars 2011 Oakville Estate Napa Valley Merlot. Don’t let the Merlot label mislead you - this wine is so concentrated and bursting with flavor, we guarantee any Cab fan would love it.
Loaded with concentrated flavors of blackberry, dark cherry, and tobacco leaf, this wine was beloved by our tasting panel. With a level of depth and complexity that’s rare for the varietal, this Merlot had everyone agreeing that the wine could convince even the most particular of palates to give Cab the night off.
At over 26% off, and with a 90 point score, this is a Merlot not to be missed!
Deep, dark garnet at the center of the glass. Nearly perfectly opaque, with just a touch a lighter red rim.
Beautifully aromatic, with sweet spiced cherry and sweet plum rounded out by hints of cedar wood shavings, aged tobacco leaf, dark baking spices, and a subtle note of eucalyptus.
Concentrated and rich, with flavors of blackberry and sweet plum compote, black cherry preserve, sweet tobacco leaf, mocha, and slight vanilla bean.
Lush and super expressive, the finish is lengthy, with great structure and velvety, grippy tannins.
A perfectly roasted full chicken, seasoned inside and out with fresh herbs, sautéed vegetables, and lemon slices.
What the Winery Says
Seductive aromas of ripe plum and a walk through a cedar glen. Complex layers of flavors of cassis, blueberry, dark chocolate, and spices of vanilla and clove coat the palate and linger long. With proper storage, this wine will age admirably for fifteen years; however, we feel it is drinkable now. Lively acidity makes it a great food wine, and an especially good accompaniment with lamb chops, roasted pork, and filet mignon.
- Nils Venge
- 90 Points - Robert Parker (Previous Vintage)
- Oakville, Napa Valley, California
- Oakville Estate Vineyard
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.