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Finds from the vine

Jarrett Osborn, Riverwalk Wine & Spirits

The 2004 Valley of the Moon Cuvee de la Luna is a big, dark and rich meritage, a blend of traditional Bordeaux varietals. The word meritage was coined in the 1980s to denote a red wine that was not just one type of grape. This wine is 82 percent cabernet sauvignon, 11 percent merlot, 5 percent malbec, and 2 percent cabernet franc. The law says a wine must be at least 75 percent of a grape to call it by that name. This red could therefore be called simply a cabernet sauvignon, but Valley of the Moon Winery prefers the flexibility of the blend to make a great wine in each vintage.The Cuvee de la Luna exhibits lovely cedar and mint on the nose, showing its Sonoma County roots. Dark cherry, dark chocolate, rich oak and a light herbal touch make this a great wine with prime rib or grilled lamb. Smooth tannins show through on the finish, with more dark berry and white pepper adding complexity. Aging for 24 months in both French and American oak barrels lends a smooth, smoky characteristic to the wine.George Whitman founded Valley of the Moon Winery in 1863. The winery changed hands several times until Heck Estates purchased it in 1997. They also own Kenwood Vineyards in Sonoma. The 2004 Cuvee de la Luna costs $30.


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