Monterey, Sonoma, Santa Barbara, CA - This Pinot Noir has an excellent oak structure, rich, complex, and nuanced black currant and raspberry notes. The grapes are hand picked and the wine spends 16 months in French oak to smooth it out and preserve the richness and finesse.
Some of this has to do with the local tannic red grape called César, which is permitted for blending (up to 10%). Some of it also has to do with latitude; this is as far north as Pinot Noir goes in Burgundy. Only Champagne and Alsace have more northerly Pinot Noir vineyards in France.
In the seventeenth century in southwestern France, an accidental breeding occurred between a red Cabernet Franc grape plant and a white Sauvignon Blanc grape plant and thus was born the most popular grape among American wine drinkers: Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Sauvignon is a red grape varietal known for its thick, durable skin, and the vine’s resistance to the elements.
Madiran is an appellation in France’s southwest that is best known as the home of the dark, tannic grape Tannat. Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Fer are also allowed to be used in the blend. Some of the wines are indeed quite tannic and meant for long aging, especially if they come from classic estates like Montus.
Merlot – What Is Merlot? Merlot, which in French means The Little Blackbird, is the second most popular red grape in America (after Cabernet Sauvignon). Known for being soft, ripe and elegant, most Merlots are easy drinking reds that go well both with food as well as on their own.