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2002 Switchback Ridge Merlot Peterson Family Vineyard Napa Valley
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92 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - May/June 2005

($50) Saturated ruby-blue. Distinctly high-toned nose (this has VA of 0.8, according to winemaker Bob Foley) like a fruit liqueur: blackberry, blueberry and licorice. Then supersweet, fat and thick, with huge, creamy flavors of candied red fruits, blueberry and game. Distinctly liqueur-like yet somehow not heavy, despite alcohol in the low 15s. Finishes with big but sweet tannins that avoid the dryness and chalkiness shown by so much petite sirah. Very impressive wine, and best suited for drinking for its youthful fruit.

91 Points | Wine Spectator
92 Points | Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

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About Napa Valley

Napa Valley is the most famous wine-growing area in the U.S. It begins at the base of Mount St. Helena in the north and tapers off some 30 miles to the south into the floodplain where the Napa River enters San Francisco Bay. From Mount St. Helena to the city of Napa, the valley is defined by two north-south ridgelines of the Coast Range Mountains.
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Merlot enjoyed a surge in popularity in the 1990s as consumers suddenly discovered that they could enjoy aromas and flavors similar to those of Cabernet in a fleshier, softer wine with smoother tannins. A wave of Merlot plantings followed, frequently in soils and microclimates completely inappropriate for this variety, and the market was soon...
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