deLorimier Vineyards and Winery
2004 Estate Meritage
Red Blend •Estate Bottled
California: Sonoma County: Alexander Valley
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s wine is worthy of this special alert – which we issue any time we bring you a really standout Bordeaux blend.
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Mission Codename: Lineage
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate de Lorimier Winery, and secure their sought after Mosaic Meritage blend
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: de Lorimier Winery
Wine Subject: 2004 Mosaic Mertiage Alexander Valley
Today’s fantastic red blend comes to us from one of Sonoma County’s most experienced winemaking teams. Made from Bordeaux varietals, grown in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valey, today’s wine is a delicious varietal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report, below, for the the complete scoop on today’s wine
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep burgundy with a darker heart and concentrated color right out to the edges of the wine. When swirled, this wine shows a springy and fast-moving surface that settles quickly, leaving behind very unique branching legs that appear immediately – and then rush down the glass at high speed
Smell – Layer upon layer of lush aromas, lead off by big, bold and beautiful red cherry – then followed by earthen black currant, blueberry, blackberry and cedar chest
Feel – Light and wet up-front, then the wine goes complex and big as medium tannins appear and the medium body of the wine follows behind – to reveal a bigger wine than experienced and the beginning of the sip!
Taste – Complex, dark and dusky with plum, dark cherry, bramble, cassis, dark chocolate, soft clove and fresh salad herbs
Finish – Initially dry and very flavorful, led by smoky dark fruit and herbs that tail off as your mouth waters, inviting another sip. And another, and another, and…
Conclusion – A fantastic and exciting wine that is big on flavor, long on aromatics and with a lush feel. This elegant wine has a balanced character and acidity, making it equally suited to solo sipping and finer pairing with a great meal. The Cabernet Sauvignon gives the wine a subtle power, which is balanced out by the Merlot and the Malbec, both of which give the wine its food-friendliness. Bravo, de Lorimier!
“Boy, you’re certainly self-congratulatory today!”
Agent White, as usual, was giving me a hard time.
I fired back, “Hey! Its not every day that The Wine Spies penetrates a wine wrangling ring that goes as deep as this one. I think I deserve a little recognition for my efforts.”
“Yeah, your efforts. That’s what I have a problem with. This was an easy assignment, and you know it. Admit it!”
I paused. And, as is rare for me, admitted that he was right.
You see, this all started with my relatively easy infiltration of the Wilson Winery in Dry Creek Valley. There, I sleuthed some really incredible Zinfandels. I’ve already revealed one to you, but be on the lookout for another in May. Anyway, as I delved into the winery, I discovered the powerhouse team behind the scenes. With winemaking at Wilson led by Diane Wilson, the Winery also sports a world-class team, top to bottom.
As I got to know the winery, I quickly learned of the Wilson family’s other interests. They own and operate a handful of well revered wineries in the Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys. I dug deep, and got to see just how far the rabbit hole went.
When my attention settled upon de Lorimier Winery, I was intrigued by the teaming of Diane Wilson with French winemaker, Antoine Favero, whose reputation for crafting wines which express the pinnacle of varietal character and the terroir (the sense of place) of the vineyards where the grapes are grown.
The de Lormier winery was purchased by the Wilson family in 2008, and today the team continues to drive de Lorimier’s philosophy of crafting ultra-fine, small lot, single vineyard designate Bordeaux varietals. The grapes for many of the wines continue to be sourced directly from Al de Lorimier’s own vineyards. Others come from the best available vineyard sources.
So, easy infiltration of not, I am very pleased to have become acquainted with de Lorimier’s unique and expressive wines. Today’s Meritage blend is a delicious and well-balanced delight.
In summary, “HA!” to you, Agent White! Put that in your glass and drink it… You’ll be glad you did.
Wine Spies Winery Photo Intel:
The location of the de Lorimier Winery, in the beautiful Alexander Valley, can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
Gold Medal – 2007 Sonoma County Harvest Fair
About This Wine:
The current vintage of our much awarded red blend. Dominated by the Cabernet Sauvignon from our Crazy Creek Vineyard, this wine is built upon a solid foundation of black current, blueberry and cedar. Approachable now, this wine has many great years ahead.
About The Winery:
Back to Our Roots – Located in the gorgeous Alexander Valley, an appellation renown for its cabernet sauvignons and chardonnays, deLorimier vineyards are planted primarily with Bordeaux varietals. When Ken and Diane Wilson bought the winery, they were searching for that perfect Alexander Valley property that could be their feature Cabernet house. Often referred to as “the Bordeaux of California”, the local landscape is in itself a beautiful mosaic of soil types and microclimates. Growing some of the finest grapes in the world, this is a winemaker’s dream location for producing world-class wines.
From its estate vineyard, winemakers Diane Wilson and Antoine Favero will continue to produce the renown Crazy Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, the “Mosaic” Meritage (a blend of Bordeaux varietals), and scrumptious Reserve Chardonnay. DeLorimier’s focus is on producing small-lot, vineyard designate wines that are the purest reflection of the grapes and the land. Our winemakers’ total involvement from bud bread to bottling ensures that only wines of the highest caliber are represented by the deLorimier label. The uncompromising dedication to quality and the quest for excellence is what keeps each new vintage vibrant and exciting and each bottle a pleasure to be savored.
The Story… The story starts in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County. After growing grapes for many years, Ken and Diane Wilson purchased the old barns that now house Wilson Winery on Dry Creek Road in the eighties and have not looked back since. Together they forged their way into the valley and have helped create Dry Creek buzz for the last 15 years. The Wilson’s estate Zinfandels and Cabernets have been winning awards year after year.
Ken loves land like Diane loves making wine. Ken’s vineyards are like beautiful landscape paintings disappearing into the horizon. When he finds a vineyard in need of care, he cannot wait to bring it up to it’s full potential. His vines traverse the contours of the land and he has found Sonoma County to offer a diversity of properties like no other. His winemakers, Antoine Favero and wife Diane Wilson wanted to make more Cabernets and Bordeaux varietals so Ken found the deLorimier property in the Alexander Valley. Re-establishing this well respected Alexander Valley winery is his current goal.
A multi-award winning winemaker, Diane has a chemistry background, although she says, “Some of my colleagues may find my methods unorthodox, but they work for me. From cooking I have learned my sense of smell and taste are my strongest tools. Because of that, I try to randomly smell and taste from each lot every month.” By doing this, Diane knows each lot so well that when it is time to blend and bottle, she always has a good idea of what the “recipe” should be.
Born in France, then growing up in Peru and California, Antoine Favero was brought in by the Wilsons to make the wines at Mazzocco Winery. Now, turning his hand to Alexander Valley varietals, this high-point scoring winemaker notes, “My goal is to craft luscious wines that are powerful yet elegant, long-lasting in the palate and long-lived in the cellar. Bordeaux varietals are my passion …”
Now that Antoine and Diane have joined forces and are combining efforts at one of the new wineries in the Wilson family: deLorimier Winery and Vineyards, great things are sure to happen! On scenic Hwy 128, this winery offers stunning examples of classic Alexander Valley wines, like the 2004 “Mosaic” Meritage.
WINE: 2004 Red Meritage
APPELLATION: Alexander Valley
ALCOHOL by VOLUME: 14.7%
RESIDUAL SUGAR: 0.1%
VARIETAL CONTENT: 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 15% Malbec
VINEYARD SOURCE: Alexander Valley “Crazy Creek” vineyard and “East Soda Rock” vineyard
FERMENTATION TECHNIQUE: 16-29 day fermentation with extended maceration
OAK: French and European oak