Merlot is a dark blue-colored wine grape variety, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. Its softness and "fleshiness", combined with its earlier ripening, makes Merlot a popular grape for blending with the sterner, later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon, which tends to be higher in tannin. Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Merlot is one of the primary grapes used in Bordeaux wine, and it is the most widely planted grape in the Bordeaux wine regions. While Merlot is made across the globe, there tends to be two main styles. The "International style" favored by many New World wine regions tends to emphasize late harvesting to gain physiological ripeness and produce inky, purple colored wines that are full in body with high alcohol and lush, velvety tannins with intense, plum and blackberry fruit. While this international style is practiced by many Bordeaux wine producers, the traditional "Bordeaux style" of Merlot involves harvesting Merlot earlier to maintain acidity and producing more medium-bodied wines with moderate alcohol levels that have fresh, red fruit flavors (raspberries, strawberries) and potentially leafy, vegetal notes.
- Item #: i_259955Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94This is the premiere release for an exciting new Bordeaux-style blend from Shafer Vineyards; one of the most prized wineries in all of the Napa Valley! TD-9 is a proprietary blend that celebrates a bold move. In 1973, in the space of a few months, John Shafer went from riding morning commuter trains in Chicago to teaching himself to drive a TD-9 tractor in his Napa Valley vineyard. He'd never grown grapes or made wine in his life. That spirit of risk-taking and adventure still guides Shafer today and inspired the creation of this new wine.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The 2016 Red Blend TD-9 is blended of 58% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Malbec. It has a very deep purple-black color and displays ready-for-biz, fragrant scents of warm plums, Black Forest cake and blueberry compote with touches of baking spices, bay leaves and potpourri. Full-bodied with a serious, firm frame of ripe, grainy tannins, the palate delivery loads of black fruit and spicy layers with bags of vivacity and panache."
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2016 TD-9 is just as impressive from bottle as it was from barrel. Bright floral notes and a rush of red cherry/red plum fruit give energy to this pliant, super-expressive wine. The 2016 has firmed up a bit since it was bottled, so a few more months should do the trick. The blend is 58% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Malbec."
- Item #: i_268135Bottle Size: 375ml**Please note, this is a half sized bottle- "Dense and a touch brooding, with plenty of sanguinity to the powerful dark plum, black currant and dried blackberry flavors. Hints of mint and cream show on the suave finish. Drink now through 2022."