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The 2000 Rosenthal Malibu Estate Devon Vineyard Merlot is a richly robed, elegant Merlot that combines the best attributes of French and California winemaking. A rich amplifying nose of back cherry, plum, cedar, and chocolate recalls the classic efforts of Bordeaux’s top St. Emilion Grand Cru estates. Meanwhile, rich fruit, great extract, and substantial body, including 14.1% alcohol, remind us that indeed this is California Merlot at its best. Smooth but very flavorful, this offering is the finest Merlot from the Rosenthal Malibu Estate to date and the most complete 2000 California Merlot we have tasted – testimony to the importance of low yields and superlative treatment, which allows this wine to be bottled unfined and unfiltered. How we wish more California wineries would take a lesson here. Enjoy this classic beauty now and for the next several years. We suggest serving this Rosenthal Estate offering at cool room temperature or approximately 66° F.
As noble and classically wrought as the 2000 Rosenthal Malibu Estate Devon Vineyard Merlot is, it requires neither food nor companions to be thoroughly enjoyable. Nevertheless, we suggest pairing this outstanding Merlot with dishes of equal stature for the ultimate in dining pleasure. Why not try it with a grilled lamb chop, served with truffle and thyme infused mashed potatoes, or grilled veal medallions with a ricotta cheese, wild mushroom, and pancetta manicotti, topped with a port wine demi glace? Carefully prepared poultry and rabbit dishes also provide first-rate pairings with the Rosenthal Malibu Estate Merlot as do a variety of cheeses made from either cow or sheep’s milk. Mahon, a smooth very flavorful cow’s milk cheese from the Spanish island of Menorca, makes a wonderful accompaniment to this wine and offers cheese lovers a special treat. And for those who prefer simple pleasures in life, we suggest they top a grilled hamburger with a hearty slice of Mahon cheese and pour a large glass of the 2000 Rosenthal Malibu Estate Merlot to accompany it, and enjoy!
An astute real estate developer, restaurant/hotel owner and more, George Rosenthal also happens to produce southern California’s finest wines, but such wines are not made by mere chance. The Malibu Estate, which sits high above the Pacific Ocean in the most beautiful, sheltered canyon in Malibu, specializes in fashioning unfiltered, unfined Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay in miniscule lots. Here, George Rosenthal and French winemaker Christian Rougenet continue to spare no expense in the pursuit of full throttle, highly extracted wines of distinction. And even more impressive is that each successive effort trumps that of the previous vintage, revealing just how splendid wine from Malibu can be. At Rosenthal’s Malibu Estate, the grapes are entirely handpicked from low yield vines and the resulting hand crafted wines are all aged in the finest French oak barrels. No wine is released until it is ready to drink, a practice that defies contemporary economic exigencies but aptly defines this estate’s commitment to quality as well as the consumer’s ultimate enjoyment of wine. To highlight just how serious this property is about releasing wines only when they are ready to be consumed, the 2000 Devon Vineyard Merlot was not released until it was more than four years of age, while the 1998 Cabernet became available only after six years of covetous ageing. We feel privileged to once again be able to offer a highly acclaimed and allocated Rosenthal Malibu Estate selection to our club members, and we would like to thank George Rosenthal and Neil McNally, the estate’s Director of Sales and Marketing, for the opportunity to feature the 2000 Devon Vineyard Merlot – a triple Gold Medal winner, including top honors at the prestigious Los Angeles County Fair Wine Competition.
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