Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Ledgewood Creek Merlot

Ledgewood Creek Winery & Vineyards

2003 Merlot, Estate
(Suisun Valley)

Admittedly, this is my first shot at a wine from Suisun Valley – situated in Solano County, about an hour northeast of San Francisco. Pronounced sue-SOON, the area is one valley southeast of the Napa Valley. Ledgewood Creek itself resides on the northern border of the appellation, with a 400-acre vineyard with views of Twin Sisters Peak to the west, the Blue Ridge range to the north and Mt. Diablo to the south. The valley just escapes the Bay Area's lingering summertime fog, and the vineyards get cool afternoon breezes out of nearby San Pablo and Grizzly bays.

Ledgewood Creek owners, Bunny and Dean Frisbie, bought a pear orchard in the valley in 1985. By ‘89 the pears had been replaced with vineyards. In the late fall of ‘02, with quality under control and the vineyards at peak production, Ledgewood Creek released its first wines from the ‘01 harvest.

In spite of this being my maiden voyage with this little-known AVA, I was trying to keep an open mind, while being excited at trying something new.

The nose is a bit closed now, but one can tell there’s some nice, earthy fruit to emerge. The structure is tight as well, but there are good black cherry flavors with minerality, tar, and some bitterness on the finish. One would be advised to hold it for a year and drink it over the ensuing half-dozen.

Winemaker Larry Langbehn aged the wine for 15 months in 50 percent French and 50 percent American oak barrels. The listed alcohol is 14.5 percent.

Reviewed August 7, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.

The Wine

Winery: Ledgewood Creek Winery & Vineyards
Vineyard: Estate
Vintage: 2003
Wine: Merlot
Appellation: Suisun Valley
Grape: Merlot
Price: 750ml $14.95

Review Date: 8/7/2006

The Reviewer

Alan Goldfarb

Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.