Buttonwood Farm 2000 Santa Ynez Valley Merlot ($18.00)
Made in the scenic Santa Ynez Valley just north of the quaint Danish-American town of Solvang, this clear, very dark reddish-purple Merlot breathes appealing scents of fresh, ripe cherries with aromatic vanilla as an accent. Its crisp red-fruit flavors add notes of dark chocolate and subtle vanilla in a judicious balance of fruit and oak, with a firm, lemony acidic core that provides more structure and food-friendliness than you'll find in many New World Merlots. US Importer: (Apr 14, 2004)

FOOD MATCH: Palate-cleansing acidity and forward fruit make it a hit with pork, specifically the Burgundian "Travers de Porc aux Herbes" featured in this week's 30 Second Wine Advisor FoodLetter.

WEB LINK: http://www.buttonwoodwinery.com

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