2005 Meritage Red Wine
California: Sonoma County: Alexander Valley
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Mission Codename: A long and winding road
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate Adobe Road and
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Adobe Road Winery
Wine Subject: 2005 Meritage – Alexader Valley
Winemaker: Franc Dusak
Backgrounder: Earlier this year we had the great fortune to bring you a superb wine from our friends at Adobe Road Winery. Today, we bring you what some have called ‘the big favorite’ among Adobe Road faithful. This is a delicious red blend, well worthy of your attention.
According to the US Meritage (rhymes with Heritage) Association, a red Meritage wine is made from a blend of two or more of the following varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, St. Macaire, Gros Verdot, or Carmenere. The Wine Spies have sampled many great Meritage wines and we are pleased to present you with this great example from our friends at Adobe Road Winery. Read Red’s tasting notes and mission report below for the full intel on today’s superb wine
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look -Beautiful, dark burgundy in color, with great clarity through its darkly concentrated heart of deep garnet. When swirled, the surface of the wine appears bouncy and very speedy, settling quickly as it leaves behind medium-width legs that take a long time to appear before the move slowly down the glass. This is a characteristic seen in other Meritage wines we have presented. Note to self: Investigate this tend to determine the cause
Smell – An interplay of dark earthen aromas with dark red fruits and floral aromas. Present on the nose here are smoky cherry, raspberry, cranberry, with mushroom, earth, cedar, vanilla and a hint of musk and violet
Feel – wet and round on the entry, soft but then a slight dryness encroaches as the wines supple tannins make their appearance
Taste – Juicy and delicious, with smoky dark cherry, cranberry, tart strawberry, dark plum, stems, soft earth and smoky violets
Finish -Smooth at first with bright fruit flavors that linger as an easy, all-over-mouth dryness appears
Conclusion -This is a truly fantastic Meritage. Again, our friends at Adobe Road show off their winemaking prowess. It is interesting to note that this wine is comprised of just two of the eight Meritage varietals, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. There is a majority of Cab Franc in this wine, and while the winery could technically call it a Cab Franc, this designation allows the winery to maintain the integrity of their single-varietal wines. This Meritage is a seriously delicious wine that could be equally enjoyed as a solo-sipper – as it could as a bright and complimentary companion to a great meal!
Today’s wine was easily procured. A quick call from my asset inside the winery and, wammo, its on the calendar in no time. That is, once I had the opportunity to taste the wine.
As you know, I am a big fan of all wines from Adobe Road. To date, they have not disappointed me in the slightest. One of my favorite Adobe Road wines (shown here last year) was their Cabernet Franc. It is no surprise, then, that I should be bonkers over today’s wine, which is comprised primarily of Cab Franc.
Blended with a small Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine could be called a Cabernet Franc. Why isn’t it? Well, Adobe Road simply does not roll that way. Their wines are almost always single-varietal, not blends. Today’s Meritage blend was a happy experiment that turned out so good that they made it into a wine.
If you love Cabernet Franc, you will love this wine. But, does it drink like a Franc? Not really. Instead, the wine has a surprising Cab Sauv-ness, to it, which balances out the Francs proclivity toward over-brightness or the vegital quality some find too unusual. This wine shows beautiful fruit with delicious flavors and deep aromatics.
So, dear Operative, enjoy this wine. It is superb!
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
Double Gold – Florida State Fair International Wine Competition
Gold Medal – West Coast Wine Competition
About This Wine:
The Meritage has an intoxicating nose of warm baking spices, deep plum and blackberry fruit, dusty unsweetened cocoa and a bit of forest floor. The palate is just as tantalizing with favors of dark plum, ripe berries, and chocolate that flow over the mouth in silky smooth waves. If you love the Bordeaux varietals, this could be your “if you were stranded on the island with just one wine” choice.
Winemaking: Early morning, hand harvested after full maturity. Destemmed whole berry for a long, cold soak. Native yeast fermentation with extended maceration until full complexity and balance potential obtained.
About The Winery:
Adobe Road is a small, family-owned winery located in Petaluma. We specialize in flavorful, distinctive wines. Each of our vintages is handcrafted with fine attention to detail, for a unique taste and experience. Our wines are created in small lots, allowing precise quality control to ensure that every bottle is just the way our wine artisans intended. Traditionally, Adobe Road has produced rich red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, but 2006 brings a lighter Sauvignon Blanc to our tasting room.
Adobe Road Winery is owned by renowned sports car racer and entrepreneur Kevin Buckler and his wife, Debra. Adobe Road Winery produces award winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Petite Sirah exclusively from Sonoma County sources. The tasting room is located in Petaluma, California. In 1995 Kevin founded The Racer’s Group (TRG) and grew it into an internationally prominent manufacturer and distributor of performance Porsche parts, while simultaneously building a career as a successful endurance sportscar racer and team owner. Kevin’s accomplishments as a driver include class wins at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2002) and the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans (2002), an overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2003), and the title of Porsche World Cup Champion in 2002. As a team owner, Kevin has directed the growth of The Racer’s Group into an internationally-acclaimed racing team.
With friends, the Bucklers started making “garage wine”, which, after prodding from enthusiastic friends started commercially bottling under the Adobe Road label in 1999. Through Kevin’s good connections, he has acquired grapes from some very prestigious vineyards, which he handcrafts into extremely limited-production wines. The awards have followed, with the Adobe Road 2001 Zinfandel winning a Silver medal in the prestigious Orange County Fair Wine Competition. In March of 2005, Adobe Road brought home the gold, with the 2002 Pinot Noir winning a Gold Medal – Best of Class; the 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon placing Silver and the 2002 Zinfandel receiving Bronze at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. With the goal of producing exceptional wines by hand-crafting small lots of red varietals exclusively from Sonoma County, the Bucklers have dedicated themselves to seeing their vision through to reality, and the results are paying off.
Appellation: Alexander Valley
Barrel Aging: 20 months in French and American Oak
Release: September 2008
Bottled: June 19, 2007
Production: 309 cases
Suggested Retail: $50
Blend: 90% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon