The 2015 Cambridge Cellars Meritage combines five of Bordeaux’s premium red varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Merlot (43%), Cabernet Franc (5%), Malbec (1%), and Petit Verdot (1%) into a delicious, seamless red that offers the rich, mouth-filling ripeness of Napa Valley fruit along with the finesse of a fine Bordeaux. Born in Napa Valley during the nearly perfect 2015 vintage, the 2015 Cambridge Cellar Meritage puts many exorbitantly priced Bordeaux and Napa Valley Cabernets and Meritage offerings to shame. Enticing aromas of ripe blackberries and dried herbs mingle with warm, gentle oak tones to grace the nose. On the palate, the wine’s Bordeaux-like demeanor takes over, offering a complex mélange of blackberry, cassis, earth, and toasted warmth. Ripe, textured tannins provide structure and finesse to this outstanding offering and promise superb drinking now through at least 2022. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest affording Cambridge Cellars’ well-crafted Napa Valley Meritage 15-20 minutes of aeration before serving at cool room temperature (60º-64º F). Enjoy!
Cambridge Cellars’ story begins at the corner of Cambridge and Sunset in Novato, California at the southern end of Napa Valley. Australian transplants Kim and Bruce Cunningham launched Cambridge Cellars there in 2014, though their story begins long before.
What began years ago as RNR (Revitalizing Neighborhood Recreation) among wine industry friends who enjoyed a bottle or more of wine together has turned into a full-fledged family and community affair in Cambridge Cellars. Although Bruce and Kim have been in the wine industry for decades, represented wineries around the world, and made or purveyed wine from Australia to Spain, Cambridge Cellars is the Cunningham’s’ first family winery. They are also the proprietors of AW Direct, a successful importing company of premium wines from around the world.
Unabashedly, Kim and Bruce’s aim in founding Cambridge Cellars in Novato is to build a better future for the next generation, for their own children and the community at large, and to celebrate the positive momentum of their community of wine country farmers, artists and entrepreneurs. Kim, Bruce and their consulting winemaker, Douglas Danielak (Wine Spectator named him “Winemaker to Watch” in July 2014), are off to a strong start with their new venture and now have several outstanding offerings under their belt, including the superb 2015 Napa Valley Meritage (this month’s feature), and the 2014 Cambridge CCR Single Vineyard Carneros Chardonnay. All Cambridge Cellars’ wines are made in small lots, with most offerings well under 1,000 cases.
A cut above the competition and able to hold its own against wines two and three times its price, the 2015 Cambridge Cellars Meritage provides an equally superb complement to great food as it does a clean glass and nothing more. Yet, it is hard to resist pairing this wine with flame-broiled filets and flank steaks, the best backyard burgers and barbecued ribs, or something even more complex such as veal medallions sautéed with mushrooms and cream or stuffed crown roast of pork. Carpaccio of bison with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, served on a bed of organic greens; duck breast with a blackberry glaze; spit-roasted hens; and ostrich steaks also provide excellent accompaniments to Cambridge Cellars’ superb 2015 Meritage. Enjoy!
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