Mission Codename The King Returns
We featured our very first Schug wine back in 2009. Back then, Agent Red had the great fortune to have been treated to an afternoon with Walter Schug. After touring the winery, Walter and Red sat in the winery’s cellar, where they shared wine and great conversation. It was there that Red fell in love with Schug wines. Today’s wine will capture your heart, too.
Walter Schug, owner and winemaster at Schug Carneros Estate, was born into wine in Germany in 1936, where his father was winemaker for one of Germany’s top Pinot Noir producers.
As a young man, Walter worked throughout Europe, honing his craft. In 1966 Julio Gallo asked Walter to oversee all grape growing and quality control for the company. Seven years later, after Walter’s reputation had grown, *Joseph Phelps* asked Walter to become Phelps’ winemaker at his new Napa Valley winery.
Walter helped to create the Insignia label and some of the finest and most sought after Bordeaux-style blends in the country. Walter crafted wines that set the high water mark for excellence in winemaking.
To this day, Walter Schug’s early influence on the industry lives on, with wineries across California and around the world emulating his winemaking style.
With Phelps, Walter Schug’s goal was to make the best Bordeaux-style blend possible. Today, Walter Schug’s philosophy remains largely unchanged. There is one big difference, however; where a bottle of Insignia may cost you around $300, today’s wonderful Schug Merlot is yours for just over $20!
About today’s wine:
This Merlot from Schug is a gorgeous ruby red, with medium translucency and a wide ring of magenta along the outer edge. It has a clean, fresh nose on it with aromas ranging from bing cherry, fig, and pomegranate to sandalwood and potpourri. The acidity accentuates the red fruit further with cherry, cranberry, and pomegranate with dried rose petals and subtle spice bringing up the back end. This wine will develop beautifully over time with its complex acidity and gentle tannin backbone, it concentrates on the center of the tongue and slides slowly back for a long finish. Beer-can roast chicken, seasoned with Italian herbs and fingerling potatoes.
The Sonoma Coast AVA is the 750 square mile area with the Pacific ocean on its western boundary, the San Pablo Bay to the south and Mendocino County to the north, headed inland to the other designated AVAs in Sonoma County. The region is heavily influenced by the cooler ocean climate, increased rainfall and fog that lingers long on the coastal mountains. The specific climate suits the demanding Burgundian varietals of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir very well.
What the Winery Says
2013 Sonoma Valley Merlot
- Michael Cox
- Varietal Composition
- 79% Merlot
- 10% Petit Verdot
- 7% Malbec
- 3% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1% Cabernet Franc
- 73% Sangiacomo El Novillero
- 17% Pickberry
- 8% Rancho Salina
- 2% Magnolia Farms
- Sonoma Valley
- Brix at Harvest
- 24 months in 20% new French, Hungarian and American oak
- .68 g/L