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With more than 20 years of global marketing, winemaking and viticulture, sales, public relations, and export experience, few can boast a story as dynamic or as deeply entrenched in the wine industry as Nicole Carter. Her career can only be described as tenacious, leaving virtually no part of wine business untouched. Early on, Nicole spent 10 years in Washington, DC and San Francisco, CA working in the public affairs sector practicing lobbying and public relations on behalf of several beverage alcohol companies. From there she helmed luxury brands across Napa, Sonoma and Australia while becoming a leading expert on California appellation regions. In 2019 she was appointed President of Merry Edwards Winery, and in 2021 she broke ground when she became the first President of Roederer, USA. Today the umbrella company is comprised of five California wineries (including Merry Edwards), each distinct in their oenological footprint, with a shared passion for crafting world-class wines. Nicole is a Certified Specialist of Wine from the Society of Wine Educators and holds additional certifications from WSET and CIA.
Wine 1: Scharffenberger Brut Excellence NV
Scharffenberger Brut is made by the méthode traditionelle process, whereby the wines are individually bottle-fermented before being riddled and disgorged. The wine is approximately 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir. The full malolactic style adds a vanilla cream character producing a round and full-bodied wine. After approximately two years on the lees, there are notes of freshly baked bread and pastry that enhances the more fruit forward style of the wine. Finally, after several months on the cork, the wine develops caramel and hazel complexors.
Appellation: Mendocino County | Varietals: 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir | Wine Alcohol: 12.5% | pH: 3.12 | Residual Sugar: 10 g/L | Aging: Minimum of 2 years en tirage and 6 months under cork | Cases Produced: 20,000
“A well-rounded, supple texture surrounds attractive toast and nut flavors in this suave and mouthfilling wine. Notes of biscuit, peach and toasted bread give it a nice sense of maturity and complexity.” Wine Enthusiast, Jim Gordon
Wine 2: Scharffenberger Brut Rosé NV
Appellation: Mendocino County | Varietals: 55% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir | Wine Alcohol: 12.5% | pH: 3.15 | Residual Sugar: 10 g/L | Fermentation: En tirage: 2 years on the yeast | Aging: Minimum of 2 years en tirage, 6 months under cork | Cases Produced: 14,000
“This crisp and classy wine tastes dry, tight but complex from the persimmon and raspberry aromas to the lively white-raspberry and white-peach flavors. It has taut acidity balanced by touches of spicy maturity that keep it interesting through the lingering finish.” WE, Jim Gordon
Wine 3: Domaine Anderson Chardonnay 2018
Tasting Notes: Pale yellow straw and lucid in the glass. The 2018 Estate Chardonnay has plenty of richness and complexity of aroma with hints of preserved lemon, apricot and a light reduction, reminiscent of crushed white rocks. On the palate, savory notes of thyme herb, dried flowers and grilled pear are balanced against a fresh and snappy acidity. Smooth and long finish. Pairs beautifully with grilled cod, whole lobster with butter, roasted lemon chicken, pasta with béchamel sauce, asparagus risotto, and various goat cheeses.
Varietals: 100% Chardonnay | Wine Alcohol: 13.1% | Titratable Acidity: 5.9 g/L pH: 3.33 | Fermentation: 95% barrel fermented | New Oak: 8% new oak barrels | Aging: 10 months in barrel |Cases Produced: 1300
Winemaker Darrin Low
Merry Edwards Winery
Wine 4: Merry Edwards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2019
“Creamy red fruit and light stemmy spice adorn this soft, silky wine from coastal sites. It shows an opulent mouthfeel and teases of rose and forest floor. Cranberry, pomegranate and rhubarb come to mind on the palate, as full-bodied tannins and oak contrast it all.” Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, November 2021
Wine 5: Merry Edwards Meredith Estate
“The 2019 Pinot Noir Meredith Estate offers lots of ripe red and black fruits as well as classic Russian River spice, cola, and brambly herbs. It’s beautiful on the palate, with integrated acidity, ripe tannins, and outstanding length. This thrilling, complete Russian River Pinot Noir will drink well for a solid decade or more, although there’s no need to delay gratification.” Jeb Dunnuck, Jebdunnuck.com, July 2021
Winemaker Heidi von der Mehden and Merry Edwards