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Schrader Aston Estate Pinot Noir 2011

Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • RP94
Ships Fri, Aug 4
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Winemaker Notes

Deep garnet in color, this beautiful wine carries multidimensional layers with a balanced and bright acidity and rich meaty texture. It's intensely rich concentration and density are plush on the palate and supported by a long, supple finish.

Critical Acclaim

RP 94
The Wine Advocate

The 2011 Pinot Noir Aston Estate is gorgeous. Sweet red berries, hard candy, crushed flowers, spices and tobacco are some of the many notes that are woven into this attractive, floral Pinot. The 2011 offers an attractive combination of minerality and that distinctive expression of fruit that is so typical of the Sonoma coast. This is a gorgeous effort. In 2011, yields came in at just one ton per acre and the harvest finished on October 2, exceedingly late for Pinot.

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Schrader Cellars

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Schrader Cellars, , California
Schrader
Founded in 1998 by Fred Schrader, Schrader Cellars is dedicated to bringing together the finest vineyard and winemaking resources available to create full-throttle, unbridled wines of great distinction and complex structure. Their programs focus on classic grape varietals grown in the famed Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville, and the Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard in Rutherford. They are handcrafted by winemaker Thomas Brown in very limited quantities and are often defined by a... View More

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture...

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An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.