The 2007 harvest was characterized by its split personality. After a moderate summer, a burst of heat in early September led a number of wineries to pick earlier than usual. However, the harvest stalled due to a dramatic cooling off period in mid September. When it resumed later in the month, our vineyards clearly had benefited from the extended hang time. The later harvest allowed an optimal ripening period for our Merlot and Cabernet Franc blocks, which we picked just before heavy rainfall struck the Napa Valley in early October.
Twelve months later, our esteemed winemaker, Heidi Barrett, describes the '07 (93% Merlot/7% Cabernet Franc) as "almost purple black in color with aromas of crushed blackberries and ripe plum, mineral, wild mushrooms, vanilla and coffee bean. The tannins are muscular but balanced, with consistent velvety textures, and seductively layered to mature 10-15 years down the road." The Amuse Bouche 2007 was bottled in April 2009 after resting in a combination of Tarransaud, Gamba and Radoux cooperage.
The Amuse Bouche 2007 original art was created by legendary artist LeRoy Neiman and is entitled, "The Last Dance." Born in 1921, Neiman has become an American icon for 20th century modern art. He is an artist who responds to his time and has always felt that being a part of every generation was paramount to the success of his work. The "Last Dance," commissioned by Amuse Bouche Winery, depicts two roof top diners enjoying the moment while their champagne flutes rest table side. This oil on board, Neiman explains, "uses colors to emphasize the scent, spirit and feeling of the scene I have experienced."
"Dominated by Merlot, but with a small amount of Cabernet Franc included in the blend, this limited production, boutique offering hits all the right spots on the palate and olfactory receptors. Its dark ruby/purple color is accompanied by sweet aromas of plums, black cherries, soy, and oak and the wine is fleshy, textured, flamboyant, lush, and delicious. Amuse Bouche’s finest effort to date, it can be enjoyed over the next 12-15 years."
- Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Issue #186, December 2009
"The brilliant 2007 is inky/ruby/purple in color and is accompanied by sweet scents of melted chocolate, licorice, forest floor, and gobs of black cherry and cassis fruit, and a wine with a superb texture, an opulent, flamboyant mouthfeel, and a stunning finish. It should drink nicely for a decade or more. (Not yet released) This boutique operation...seems to have hit its stride. There are about 500 cases each of the 2006 and 2007, which are virtually all Merlot."
- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #180, December 2008
"Bright red-ruby. High-pitched, slightly candied aromas of crushed red berries and plum lifted by a whiff of rose petal. A juicy, sweet, slightly high-toned fruit bomb, with good energy to its creamy, exotic red berry flavors. Boasts lovely clarity and finishing perfume."
- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, May/June 2010
12 California Merlots: A dozen wines that show the elegance and supple texture the Merlot grape can attain in the Golden State
"Supple and beautifully layered, with black cherry and toasty vanilla aromas and currant, spice and roasted sage flavors that start delicately and then build to a rich, ripely tannic finish. Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2015. 500 cases made."
- T.F., Wine Spectator
Top 100 Perfect Pours of the World
"Pomerol-style wine from Napa Valley produced by legendary winemaker Heidi Barrett, this Merlot-based red is darkly vibrant, exuding aromas of blackberry and black plum. On the palate, the wine expresses earthy, forest-floor flavors or wild mushroom alongside juicy berry fruit, roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate."
- Robb Report, October 2009
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