Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Bighorn Cellars 2003 Merlot, Broken Rock Vineyard (Napa Valley)

Bighorn Cellars

2003 Merlot, Broken Rock Vineyard
(Napa Valley)

Bill “William” Hill, of the famous winery he sold in 1992, has always had an eagle eye for prime hillside vineyards in the Napa Valley. In 1994 Bill and Richard Wollack, a real estate investment expert, founded Bighorn Cellars. Together they continued acquiring hillside and other prime parcels around the valley, and started producing wine.

Broken Rock is a 48-acre vineyard located on a steep, western facing slope at the foot of Atlas Peak, near Soda Canyon. The source of this Merlot as well as some Cabernet Sauvignon, Broken Rock is also Bill’s home ranch. With excellent drainage, low fertility soil, densely planted vines, and new clones, this vineyard gives grapes of great character. Other hillside Merlots tend to display an aggressive tannic structure. Here, winemaker Don Baker’s signature fruit forward, varietally expressive style shines through.

Clean and bright with a moderately saturated ruby color, this Merlot has stewed fruits, cassis, raspberry, cranberry, boysenberry, plum, earth, forest floor, and mushroom notes. It is medium-bodied with clean, bright fruit, subtle and well integrated oak, and excellent expression of the varietal. It is well-balanced with slight astringency on a finish that turns bittersweet and mouthwatering at the same time.

Reviewed October 20, 2006 by Catherine Fallis.

The Wine

Winery: Bighorn Cellars
Vineyard: Broken Rock Vineyard
Vintage: 2003
Wine: Merlot
Appellation: Napa Valley
Grape: Merlot
Price: 750ml $30.00

Review Date: 10/20/2006

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.