Naumann Vineyards

dining_naumannLate Harvest Merlot 2007

Although I have written about Naumann Vineyards’ Merlot in a previous article, this Merlot is very different because it’s a semi-sweet dessert wine. It’s a wine to enjoy with your strawberries and cream after dinner, or just to drink on its own when you feel like imbibing on something that’s sweeter than usual.

Owner and winemaker Don Naumann founded his winery in 2001. He purchased the property in 1987 and planted the vineyard in 1994. Its prime location – complete with warm days and cool mountain nights – produces the finest variety of wines, and the Late Harvest Merlot is one of them.

Late harvest means that the grapes were left on the vines longer than usual – resulting in a little higher alcohol and residual sugar. Don Naumann has made a really gorgeous rich wine here. First tasting it at a wine event, I had to have some to take home. When I drank it with one of my favorite things on this planet – chocolate – I found it very hard to share. Fortunately, a little goes a long way and you don’t have to polish it all off in one evening.

Although Naumann has no tasting room, the winery usually does an open house pouring on Passport days. The next Passport event is on July 16, where they will be very happy to sell you a bottle of their Late Harvest Merlot for about $20. Note: This is a small bottle of 375 ml. It’s what’s inside that counts.

Naumann Vineyards, 16505 Montebello Road, Cupertino. Tel: (408) 867-7871. naumannvineyards.com.

Wine Events

Vintners’ Festival: It’s time again for the annual Vintners’ Festival – to be held on two consecutive weekends. June 4 & 5 is the Western side of the Santa Cruz Mountains, (which includes Santa Cruz County), and June 11 & 12 is on the Eastern side of the mountains (in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties). Many wineries will be pouring at local restaurants (where food will be available for purchase), and participants are encouraged to take a self-guided tour. Enjoy barrel tasting, music, art and food – and meet the winemakers along the way. This is a taste of the Santa Cruz Mountains that’s not to be missed. Special attractions include barrel tastings, winery tours, new releases, live music, local chefs, art displays, and more. Cost: $35 in advance, $40 at the door. Info: 685-8463, [email protected] or scmwa.com.

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