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Historic, Family Owned, Napa Valley Wine Producer, Merryvale Vineyards, Now Added to the Albert Bichot USA Portfolio

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Traditionalists with vision and a commitment to the future

(October 6, 2023 – Napa Valley, CA) – Albert Bichot USA has formed a partnership with Merryvale Vineyards, as part of its expansive luxury portfolio this autumn.

Merryvale Vineyards is family-owned and operated and was the first winery built in the valley following the Repeal of Prohibition.  They have been owned by the Schlatter family for over 30 years, who have made significant investments in estate vineyards and have committed to old-world winemaking practices as well as sustainable farming.

“Adding a Napa Valley producer that is generationally owned, with a high quality to price ratio, and with a runway for growth, fits in perfectly with our model and further strengthens our position as a luxury wine portfolio.  All historic family owned brands have a great story to tell and we look forward to sharing the Merryvale story and bringing the Schlatter family closer to its loyal following across the US while exposing new consumers to these legendary brands,” stated Jim Opalka, President, Albert Bichot USA.

Merryvale boasts complex and classic wines that are a true reflection of the region’s terroir. They own four estate vineyards across Napa Valley in three different AVA’s. Winemaker Andrew Wright’s renowned attention to detail includes handpicking grapes in small batches and using custom-made Rieger tanks tailored specifically for the character of the grapes in each vineyard block.

René Schlatter, Proprietor of Merryvale Family of Wines, noted, “The team at Albert Bichot USA shares several common values that create a strong synergy: family owned with a European heritage, commitment to quality, legacy and excellence.  I feel that this makes them the ideal supplier partner for our future. We are confident that this strategic partnership will help us reach new heights and will provide excellent service to our valued customers across the country.”

Some of these wines include:

  • Merryvale St. Helena Cabernet Napa Valley ($145) – This estate lies on an Eastern Ridge overlooking Napa Valley at almost 1,000 feet of elevation. This explosive and elegant Cabernet embodies the best characteristics of this vintage including aromas of sage, dark red fruits and cocoa. The full-bodied texture is satisfying and the tannins are well-integrated. The wine was aged for 22 months in 75% new French oak barrels.
  • Merryvale Pinot Noir Carneros Napa ($42) – This wine is a great representation of the region with fruit coming from 3 distinctly unique vineyards across the appellation with different microclimates. The mouthfeel is silky and the wine is robust and complex.  With aromas of black cherries, baking spices and sarsaparilla, and beautifully integrated tannins, this wine is classic Carneros with a distinct Burgundian influence.
  • Silhouette Chardonnay Napa Valley ($85) – Silhouette is a limited production wine worthy of a collector’s cellar.  This is a complex Chardonnay that captures the Schlatter family’s vision of crafting an old-world wine from Napa.  This wine will delight with its bright acidity, freshness and citrus and jasmine aromas.
  • Profile Proprietary Red Blend Napa Valley ($250) – This powerful and rich wine is indicative of the hillside estate vineyard in Conn Valley.  A blend of 99% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc, the wine is savory and seductive. This wine was vinified with classic Bordeaux techniques and aged for 23 months in 80% new French oak barrels. It delivers classic notes of currants and cassis, with supple and beautifully integrated tannins.

Merryvale also produces artisanally-crafted wines that are expressive and approachable under the Starmont label. These wines complement the more mature Merryvale portfolio.  Some examples include:

  • Starmont Chardonnay Tri County [$24] – With aromas of citrus, lemon curd and kaffir lime, this wine boasts a wonderful complexity on the nose, fresh acidity and creamy richness on the mid-palate.
  • Starmont North Coast Cabernet [$29] – On the nose, blackberry and boysenberry leap out, with graphite and cedar adding complexity. This fresh Cabernet lingers with a structured finish.

Merryvale has a long established reputation for rich, elegant wines that speak to the wonderful terroir of Napa Valley’s premier vineyards. The winery’s commitment to sustainable farming practices, balance, and harmony with the land has earned Merryvale’s estate vineyards fish friendly farming certification.

About Merryvale Vineyards

Founded in 1983, Merryvale Vineyards is the quintessential St. Helena destination. Located in the heart of the Napa Valley, Merryvale employs sustainable farming practices and superior standards in the vineyards and winery to ensure that the wines live up to their full potential. Merryvale’s portfolio boasts complex, balanced and classic wines that are truly reflective of the region’s terroir. The main varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc. Helmed by the Schlatter family for over 30 years, Merryvale has established deep roots with ownership of sustainably farmed estate vineyards: the Profile Estate, a 25-acre hillside vineyard overlooking St. Helena; 17 acres on Mt. Veeder and now 13 acres in Coombsville. The Merryvale Tasting Room is open daily for tasting from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Appointments are encouraged but not required; more information can be found at www.merryvale.com.

About Albert Bichot USA

Albert Bichot USA is a leading wine importer of esteemed wines, including Domaines Albert Bichot as well as Maison Lorgeril, Champagne Mandois, Joseph Mellot and Merryvale Vineyards. The national sales team, led by President, Jim Opalka, are known for their fine wine expertise, industry relationships and extraordinary service to their brands, which extend beyond sales to marketing, brand development and a long term commitment to client relations.  The group continues to build its portfolio with exceptional brands that represent a similar core philosophy and that are focused on quality and eco-responsibility.

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