Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine Recommendation: Schug Carneros Estate Winery 2002 Merlot Heritage Reserve  (Carneros ~ Los Carneros)

Schug Carneros Estate Winery

2002 Merlot Heritage Reserve
(Carneros ~ Los Carneros)

Walter and Gertrud Schug brought to Sonoma their heritage of winemaking – both of their fathers made wine in their native Germany. In fact, you Riesling diehards may be interested to know they met while he was interning at her dad’s estate, Weingut Annaberg.

Walter made a name for himself here as founding winemaker for Joseph Phelps Vineyards, where he crafted Bordeaux-blend Insignia and later the Bacchus and Eisele Cabs. Today he works alongside winemaker Michael Cox to produce the family’s well-respected line of cool climate wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Son Axel Schug is Sales and Marketing Director.

This “Heritage Reserve” Merlot is made up 92% cool climate Merlot from the Sangiacomo “Donnell” and Ricci Vineyards, 6% Cabernet Franc from the Sonoma Mountain Vineyard and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon from Atwood Vineyard. The Merlot component is, according to the family, “made from the best barrels of our top Carneros vineyards,” thus the special designation.

Only 389 cases were produced and the $30 price tag is a breath of fresh air compared to the outrageous pricing of this varietal in Napa Valley. Bright and fairly opaque ruby red, it has notes of boysenberry, stewed tomato, mocha, and cedar and an underlying character of what the French refer to as “animale” or “sauvage” which we sometimes refer to here as “funk”.

Reviewed December 12, 2006 by Catherine Fallis.


Other Awards & Accolades

92 Points -- Wine Enthusiast

The Wine

Winery: Schug Carneros Estate Winery
Vintage: 2002
Wine: Merlot Heritage Reserve
Appellation: Carneros ~ Los Carneros
Grapes: Merlot (92%), Cabernet Franc (6%), Cabernet Sauvignon (2%)
Price: 750ml $35.00

Review Date: 12/12/2006

The Reviewer

Catherine Fallis

Founder and President of Planet Grape LLC, a company committed to bringing the joy of wine, food, and good living into the lives of everyday people, Catherine is creator of the “grape goddess guides to good living,” a series of books, television presentations, seminars, and e-learning programs. The fifth woman in the world to become a Master Sommelier, grape goddess Catherine Fallis is still very much down-to-earth.