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Wine of the Week

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Long a benchmark for Napa Valley Merlot, this highly rated wine illustrates the excellence of the 2001 vintage. With fruit sourced from 10 premium vineyards, the wine is a blend of 84 percent Merlot, 7 percent Cabernet and less than 5 percent each of Cab Franc, Petit Verdot and Syrah. Aged 13 months in 75 percent French and 25 percent American oak, this complex wine is scented with red and black berry and earth notes. Solid, yet supple tannins provide for a well-balanced, firmly structured wine. Drinking well now, but will improve with bottle aging over the next five years. Where to buy it: most Sav-A-Centers and Winn-Dixies, DorignacÕs and LangensteinÕs in Metairie. Where to drink it: Bacco and MurielÕs Jackson Square. (Listings current at press time.)
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