Merryvale/Starmont: Rich with history, rich with flavor
The first winery built in the Napa Valley following the repeal of Prohibition, Merryvale is located in the heart of America’s premier wine region. A decade ago, the Merryvale operation was purchased by Jack Schlatter and family, with son, Rene, serving as company president.
After the Schlatter family bought it, they renovated the facility and started making wine under two labels: Merryvale and Starmont. Past wine makers include Ric Forman, succeeded by Bob Levy, who currently runs a couple of winemaking operations for Harlan. Following the tradition of great wine makers is Sean Foster as Merryvale’s senior winemaker, and is joined by winemaker Graham Wehmeier.
Merryvale has earned international acclaim for their wines’ outstanding quality – a result of maintaining their vision of turning Napa grapes into world-class wines. The carefully selected fruit is allowed to ripen fully, allowing flavor and tannins to reach maturity at the same time the sugar reaches its proper level. One sip,
and you’ll discover what an enlightened process this is.
Shooting for the Stars
Sister winery Starmont, is located on the historic Stanly Ranch in Carneros where John Stanly planted one of the first vineyards in Carneros in 1872. This green winery is powered by the sun.
The fruit for their 2009 Starmont Chardonnay is grown in the cooler areas of the Napa Valley, where the maritime influence ensures crisp, vibrant fruit. Named Best New World Chardonnay/Best of Varietal/Best of Class and receiving a Platinum Medal at the 2011 Jerry Mead New World International Wine Competition, this Chardonnay offers intense aromas of mandarin orange, fresh pear and melon,
while the mouthfeel is round and fleshy with a long layered finish.
(From 2011 Vintage) The fruit for Starmont Chardonnay is grown in our favorite cooler areas of the Napa Valley, including the Oak Knoll District and Carneros, including our Stanly Ranch Estate Vineyard, where the maritime influence keeps the focus on crisp, vibrant fruit. The fruit was carefully sorted and whole-cluster pressed to preserve freshness.
VISUAL - Beautifully Golden NOSE - Butter; cream - some oak & honey TASTE - slight butter, some lemon citrus & floral tones - slight oak - full bodied - creamy mouthfeel & very long, lingering finish, feeling like velvet. Really nice. ** def don't over chill on this one - 20 min rule just enough. No longer, or flavors are very squelched
very sweet. leads oaky with minimal citrus flavor
- about 3 years
Wine & Spirits(From 2001 Vintage) Rating: 85/100 - As reviewed by Wine & Spirits Magazine
Wine Spectator(From 1989 Vintage) Rating: 89/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator on 12/31/90.
Wine Spectator(From 1992 Vintage) Rating: 88/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator on 06/30/94.
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines(From 2003 Vintage) This clean but uninvolving wine is impossible to fault for error other than its obvious lack of fruity substance, and its essential smallness directs it accordingly to near-term service with lighter fish and chicken fare.
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines(From 2002 Vintage) A bit of toast and hints of earth and mineral lend a little extra range to the otherwise mildly apply themes of this reasonably weighty offering. If wanting for a keener sense of fruity focus, the wine does convey a positive impression of extract and may yet emerge as a more fully filled-out Chardonnay with a year or two of further age.