2005 Estate Merlot Napa Valley
Merlot •Estate Vineyard
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
NEW RELEASE!: Today’s Merlot is a New Release of the 2005 vintage of their exceptional Estate Merlot. Be among the first to get your hands on this delicious wine.
ALLOCATION ALERT!: Today’s wine is from one of our fastest-selling wineries. Be sure to take advantage of this offer – before we run out!
SAVINGS ALERT!: Enjoy FREE Ground Shipping with your purchase of 6 or more bottles when you use coupon code: MERLOTSPY at checkout
Mission Codename: Hey-Oh Merlot
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Investigate Agent Red’s Love of Burgess Cellars
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Burgess Cellars
Wine Subject: 2005 Napa Valley Merlot
Winemaker: Bill Sorenson
Merlot, one of the primary grape varietals from Bordeaux finds an exceptional home in Napa Valley. Burgess Cellars’ vineyards are on the slopes of Howell Mountain, a sub-appellation, that was designated in January 1984. The region is particularly known for exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon but is also responsible for top-notch Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Merlot.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep dark purple, almost black in color and slightly inky in clarity. Ruby and garnet hued edges and slow thin legs that creep down the side of the glass when swirled.
Smell – Medium intensity bouquet of ripe blackberry and raspberry with hints of resinous pine and cigar tobacco, floral aromas and oak.
Feel – Smooth, dry and medium/full-bodied with sweet and smooth tannins, easy acidity and a slightly creamy texture.
Taste – Flavors of ripe black (blackberry and black cherry) and red (raspberry) fruit, with hints of oak. Components of sweet spices, cocoa, a tiny taste of pepper and herbaceous undertones complete a very well rounded wine.
Finish – This wine finishes long and smooth with lingering flavors of its fruit components and creamy mouthfeel, indicative of its malolactic fermentation.
Conclusion – This is a Merlot for lovers of Merlot. Smooth and rich, easy drinking and mild tannins make this a perfect wine for any summer barbecue. Give this developing wine some time and its flavors and aromas meld, making this wine tremendously elegant for a relatively youthful wine.
Agent Red in Italy… Looking for me? Ha Ha… Guess he didn’t get the memo that I had returned from overseas to recon one of his favorite wineries in Napa. No worries, Agent Sparkle will punish him enough and I’m sure the wine he’s tasted will make it worth it.
But back to the task at hand… Ops had asked me to go under deep cover to evaluate a number of wines. In particular, they wanted some recon of some of the wines from the Howell Mountain region. Remembering Agent Red’s love of the wines from Burgess Cellars I decided to start there.
The winery was founded on the western slopes (overlooking the Stags Leap District) of the Howell Mountain AVA, a sub-appellation of Napa Valley on the eastern edge of the Napa winegrowing region. One of the keys that makes the wines from this AVA so exceptional is that the Terroir is rugged volcanic soil and at at higher elevation (from 1400-2200 feet MSL) and given the aspect it is the recipient of the cooler breezes that originate from the Pacific ocean. The combination of cooler breezes, higher altitude and soil produces wines of remarkable character. In addition to exceptional Merlot, the region is also known for Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Chardonnay.
But our focus today is the delicious Estate Merlot from Burgess Cellars. The grapes for this wine were grown in Burgess’ Estate Vineyard in the Oak Knoll AVA. In this wine, winemaker Bill Sorenson has created a gem of a Merlot. Rich, smooth with fine tannins. It is a wine of tremendous character, bold but also finesse and elegance. That added with its solid production quality and will have even the biggest skeptics saying Hey-Oh Merlot!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Burgess Cellars in Napa Valley can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Burgess Cellars, Member, Napa Valley Vintners
About This Wine:
Our 2005 Merlot is one of our biggest Merlots ever! It’s dark plum color is a clue to the dense black cherry, chocolate, mint and raspberry flavors.
The Merlot was grown in our estate vineyard just south of Yountville, in the Oak Knoll AVA. This region of the Napa Valley is ideal for bringing Merlot to full maturity, thus producing a full-bodied, rich, complex wine with a long lasting finish. The vines are oriented north/south so that they capture both morning and afternoon sun. Another unique characteristic of our Merlot is the hint of mint in the aroma and flavor that comes from Eucalyptus trees growing alongside the vines.
The harvest of 2005 was quite unique in two related ways. The crop was heavier than normal thus causing the ripeness to be later than usual. This extended hang time added to the rich complexity and integrated flavors of this vintage. The wine is aged in 100% French oak barrels which complements the vineyard’s efforts.
About The Winery:
Burgess Cellars, located on the slopes of Howell Mountain in Napa Valley, focuses on creating exceptional, hand-crafted estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Syrah.
Burgess traces its origins to an original winery on the property in the 1880’s. Since 1972, Napa Valley pioneer Tom Burgess and his family have followed the belief that it is vital to grow only those varietals ideally suited to a particular vineyard’s soil composition, sun and wind exposure, and overall micro-climate. The French refer to this as “terroir,” and it certainly explains the consistent aromas and flavors found in the hillside Burgess Cabernet Sauvignon.
Over the years three distinct estate vineyard sites have been cultivated and nurtured to create the very best handcrafted wines. The Burgess flagship wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, thrives on the western slopes of Howell Mountain near the winery; Merlot is ideally suited to the Triere Vineyard on the Napa Valley floor in the Oak Knoll AVA just south of Yountville; Syrah is perfectly matched to conditions in the estate vineyard site on the eastern slope of Howell Mountain.
Burgess is somewhat unique in the Napa Valley today, in that it is truly a family-owned winery which has employed the same gifted winemaker, Bill Sorenson, since the winery’s re-birth in 1972.
Appellation: Napa Valley, California
Vineyard location: Burgess Estate Vineyard – Yountville
Fermentation: 100% Malolactic