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Home / 2003 Merlot Magnum
2003 Swanson Vineyards Merlot, Napa Valley, 1.5L

Wine Specs

Vintage 2003
Appellation Napa Valley
Varietal Merlot
Alcohol content 14.1
Bottling Date May 2005
Release Type Current

2003 Merlot Magnum

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A true meeting of the Oakville and Bordeaux minds, this wine retains the weight and texture of the New World, with the nuances and complexity of Pomerol. The nose exhibits dried cherry, raspberry and a smoky blackberry, with the flavors in the mouth echoing this impression nicely. The fine-grained tannins for which our Merlots are known provide the round, ripe texture of this wine.


Wine Profile

Vineyard Notes
Swanson’s Merlot grapes are grown on our two estate vineyards. The Oakville Estate is located mid-valley, and the Schmidt Ranch in on benchland adjacent to the Mayacamas foothills on the western side of the valley. The Merlot and Syrah were sourced from the Oakville Estate, while the Cabernet Sauvignon blending components came from the Schmidt Ranch.

Winemaker Notes
A wet, cold winter followed by a wet, cool April delayed vine development, with grape maturation lagging about four weeks behind normal. Summer’s high humidity and roller coaster hot and cold spells also contributed to delayed berry maturation. After one final rainfall, temperatures warmed dramatically in late August and especially in early September. The elevated steady heat of early September accelerated everything. Berry maturation accelerated with amazing rapidity, so much so that ripening returned to a more normal time frame. The 2003 vintage, with its peculiar weather patterns, produced a lower than expected yield, and the quality of our Merlot turned out to be excellent. The cycles of heat and cold produced a wine with excellent color and layers of aroma and flavor reminiscent of the Merlots of the Right Bank of Bordeaux.