About two weeks ago, I was reminiscing about my very first trip to wine country. At the time I was learning more about red wines, white wines, and rose. I had not tried many dessert wines, or knew enough about them to determine what I liked or disliked. I had a ruby port before, and some other powerful, overly sweet styles that I didn’t care for. However, during my first trip to Napa Valley, one winery in particular turned me on to a dessert wine that is still my favorite to this day.
Our group headed to downtown St. Helena, adjacent to the renowned Tra Vigne restaurant and stopped at Merryvale. Located in the heart of America’s premier wine region, you will enjoy beautiful landscaped gardens accented with an elegant fountain (which my wife and I took the standard tourist photo)
Cool fact: Merryvale was the first winery built in Napa Valley following the repeal of Prohibition.
Another Eye-Popping Feature:
The Cask Room is a sight with magical ambience. They have century-old 2,000 gallon casks lining the stone wall in this room. If Bruce Wayne held a dinner to wine and dine Gotham city, this is what it would look like. A true Batman wine cellar (with a hidden barrel door with access to the Bat cave of course).
‘Antigua’ Dessert Wine
Merryvale’s gold-medal winning Muscat de Frontignan dessert wine is fortified with fine California brandy and aged an average 11 years in French oak for an utterly smooth, subtle aroma, flavor and texture
- Muscat fortified with fine pot-still brandy
- Aged in French oak barrels and tanks
- 11 years average aging
- 18% alcohol by volume
Golden/amber in color from its long aging in French oak, the wine is a complex combination of nuts and orange-peel aromas. Thick and rich in the mouth, the nuts and orange-peel theme continues from the entry through the long finish, highlighted by the many subtleties from the fine brandy and time in the barrel.
In 2007, Gourmet Magazine recommended ‘Antigua’ Dessert Wine for a romantic dinner.
“As for our fondue, chocolate is never easy on a dessert wine, but Merryvale Antigua, a Muscat de Frontignan blend drawn from vintages that go back to 1970, has the power to withstand chocolate’s underlying bitterness but still marries well with the accompanying raspberries and macaroons.”
Some delicious pairing ideas:
Chocolate Cake or pick at some Hershey’s Kisses ®
100% Napa Valley. 100% Good!
Jim from Hello Vino