Wine Review – 2006 Selene “Frediani Vineyard” Merlot, Napa Valley, California

Winery: Selene Wines SeleneMerlot

Bottling: 2006 Frediani Vineyard Merlot

Region: California

Sub-Region: Calistoga, Napa Valley

Estimated Retail Price: $35 – $40

Purchase Details: Purchased of the wine menu at Hiroshi Eurasian Tapas & Wine Bar for approximately $70?  I can’t quite remember.

Tasting Notes: In the glass, a pretty purple hue.  On the nose, I smelled notes of bay leaf, raspberries, cherries, spice and red plum.  In the mouth were flavors of red cherries, strawberries, earth, bay leaf, cinnamon spice, red plum and a little red currant.  Really smooth, fine-grained tannins, medium-bodied in texture with a full-bodied chewy aspect.  A very pretty, elegant, well-made, well-delineated and balanced wine.

This wine had a nice balance of sweet and savory.  Just when you think the wine is going to be fruity, the savory, earthy flavors kick in and lend a really nice counter balance to the fruit.   Miles from the movie Sideways obviously didn’t taste this merlot before he made his now legendary proclamation.

Food Pairing & Context in Which to Enjoy: We were enjoying this with a bevy of asian-hawaiianesque dishes from a chef who, like winemaker Mia Klein, has a great touch.  Truffled ponzu sauces, creamy beurre blancs and divine seafood from island waters and this Selene Merlot were happily holding hands.

Winery & Other Background Information: I really like the wines from Selene. Mia Klein possesses a wonderful touch, which she highlights vintage after vintage by crafting wonderful, magically textured wines.  There’s some serious winemaking going down at Laird Family Estate, where she makes her wines along with other small micro-producers.

Mia Klein honed and mastered her craft through various stints as a consultant at Dalla Valle, Viader, Araujo and Spottswoode, working closely alongside fellow craftsman Tony Soter.  With a winemaking resume like this, what else would you expect from Selene Wines?  Seek her wines out.


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