We’ve been celebrating Merlot for the past month with #MerlotMe. Today is the culmination of the celebration, Merlot Day. We celebrate with the last of the sample bottles that arrived for our #MerlotMe tastings, a bottle of Silverado Vineyards 2018 Mt. George Merlot.
*This wine was received as a media sample. No other compensation was received and all opinions are our own.
About Silverado Vineyards
This winery was founded with a bit of magic, Disney magic. Ron and Diane Milled founded the Vineyard in 1981 with Diane’s mother, Lillian Disney, an illustrator & ink artist, who worked at Disney Studios and was the wife of Walt.
They had owned the estate before the founding of the winery and for many years sold their prized fruit to other reputable Napa Wineries. The name of the vineyard comes from an abandoned mining town where Robert Louis Stevenson stayed.
The 3rd generation of this family now sustainably farms 360 acres on 6 estates in Napa. Winemakers Jon Emmerich and Elena Franceschi create the wines from this beautiful fruit.
About the Mt. George Vineyard
This vineyard is located in Coombsville east of Napa. The Mt. George Vineyard was first planted in 1868 by William Woodward. The Millers replanted this vineyard in 1989. Currently, it is 181 planted acres with almost 24 of those acres planted to Merlot.
Henry Hagen is thought of as one of the early vignerons in this area and the stone gate that he built still stands at the entrance to this vineyard on the southwest side. The vineyard sits on the low slopes of Mt. George an ancient volcano.
The soil here is gravelly loam.
2016 Silverado Vineyards Mt. George Merlot
This wine is 100% Merlot from the Mt. George Vineyard. It macerates for around 16 days then spends 16 months in 40% new French Oak. This vintage saw February rains and an early summer with a late bud break. The summer was steady, without nasty heat spikes so ripening was slow and extended into the fall allowing the grapes to build complexity and flavor without being overly ripe.
The elegance of raspberry played against brighter red cherry notes and deeper notes of plum. There was a bit of jamminess with notes of peppery dried lavender, anise, and white pepper. Underlying notes of nutmeg and clove, toast and cedar, and a hint of cocoa powder. There were hints of tertiary notes of tobacco and wet leaves. The tannins were sticky and suede-like and will likely soften with age.
14.7% abv – 3068 cases produced – SRP $48
Merlot and ‘Za!
I will admit to being completely out of pairing ideas and at the time a bit too exhausted for another full day of cooking. The great thing about Merlot is that it can pair widely. So, I decided that a take-out pairing was appropriate.
I ordered online from Blaze Pizza and chose a BBQ Chicken Pizza, with some adjustments. We did classic dough, no sauce, shredded mozzarella, grilled chicken, roasted garlic, gorgonzola, pineapple (yes we are those people who like pineapple on our pizza!), and BBQ drizzle.
The other pizza was a White Top with Classic dough, white crème sauce, mozzarella, applewood bacon, chopped garlic, arugula, and balsamic glaze.
So why these ingredients? Grilled meats, garlic, blue cheese, bacon, peppery arugula, balsamic glaze, and BBQ sauce… all things that go great with Merlot, and the pizzas did not disappoint. The pizzas are also cooked in a super hot pizza oven so, the crusts have bits of char that blended well with the wine.
Where can you find Silverado Vineyards?
You can find Silverado Vineyards Tasting Room which is open Thursday through Monday.
Reservations are required, you can visit their site for details or call them at 707-257-1770.
They are located at 6121 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.