Knights Valley, Sonoma County
Merlot is very much alive and well. For Jim and Beth Summers it all began in 1987 with the purchase of a 28-acre vineyard in Knights Valley growing mainly
Merlot grapes at that time. Their first vintage was a Summers Merlot in 1992. In 1996 the Summers purchased a 25-acre vineyard in Napa Valley, and to this day, they produce a variety of wines from both Knights Valley and Napa Valley. The winery has remained small, focusing on a few varietals with emphasis on quality, and averaging under 10,000 cases per year. And the Merlot from Knights Valley is still going strong. Under the direction of Ignacio Blancas, winemaker and vineyard manager, the vineyards are farmed by hand in a low impact sustainable manner. Other wines produced by Summers include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and, of course, Charbono, the varietal that Summers Winery is most often associated. But that is a story for another day.
The 2011 Summers Merlot is a full bodied and nicely balanced expression of a fine Merlot. With aromas of blackberry, vanilla, and a hint of herbs, the first sip can be mistaken for Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc. The mouthfeel is best described as delicious and the finish is long and lingering with delicate tannins. The wine begs for food. As is our usual custom, we enjoyed a bottle with prime ribeye steak and osso buco. Perfect with either.
For the entire month of October 2015 Biba Restaurant is offering the Summers Merlot 2011 at the reduced price of $40 per 750 ml bottle and $10 per glass. Don't miss this opportunity to taste a distinctive Merlot.
The Summers Winery and Tasting Room is located at 1171 Tubbs Lane, Calistoga, CA 94515. Open daily from 10:30 am until 5:00 pm. Tel: (707) 942-5508
The website is: www.summerswinery.com