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2009 Robert Foley Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley

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90 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - May/June 2012

(100% merlot, from Howell Mountain and valley fruit):  Good bright ruby.  Exotic, slightly high-toned aromas of black cherry, blackberry, damp earth, chocolate and licorice.  A fat, lush fruit bomb in the mouth, with creamy mocha and chocolate elements adding appeal.  Finishes with substantial dusty tannins that will not get in the way of drinking this wine early.  In fact, I predict that this wine will show more alcohol with time in bottle, so I'd advise consuming it within the next year or two.

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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

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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