We are pleased that The Blonde Bear Tavern will be participating once again in this year’s 30th Annual Taos Winter Wine Festival and celebrating the return of René Schlatter from Merryvale Vineyards, one of Napa Valley’s most prestigious wineries. René and I will be hosting a special wine dinner to guide guests through six of Merryvale’s most notable wines. We have carefully developed the menu to highlight these wines in a way that will engage the palate of both wine connoisseurs and novice wine lovers alike. Last year’s dinner proved to be simply magical; we’re working to ensure this year’s will be as well.
Merryvale Vineyards’ Cabernet-centric portfolio includes wines that are complex and rich, balanced and expressive of Napa Valley’s fruit but also reflective of classic styles. Merryvale’s winemaker Simon Faury’s meticulous attention to detail calls for handpicking grapes in small batches and using custom-made Rieger tanks tailored specifically for the character of the grapes in each vineyard block.
Since his appointment as Proprietor & CEO of Merryvale Family of Wines in 2008, René Schlatter has firmly established the company as one of Napa Valley’s most prestigious and well-respected wine companies. Through an unyielding commitment to wine quality, customer service, and investment in the community, René continues to uphold his family’s legacy in the winegrowing world.
A native of Switzerland, René has lived in the U.S. since 1987, having attended Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas as undergraduate. A top junior in his country, René arrived in the U.S. to play Division I tennis at Trinity University, during which time he and his team were ranked among the top 20 schools in the country. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, René returned to Europe and worked for several years as a businessman in various industries. In 1994, René moved back to the US, earning a Master’s Degree from Arizona’s Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management.
In recognition of the success of the business, Wine Enthusiast magazine honored René with its prestigious “Person of the Year” Award in 2011. Presented at its Annual Wine Star Awards, the magazine included these comments: “Since 2008, the president of Napa’s Merryvale Vineyards has pioneered green initiatives while preserving the winery’s family legacy and excellence in producing Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.”
Says René: “I enjoy drinking wines from all over the world – Bordeaux, Burgundy, Tuscany, Switzerland, and Napa Valley. No matter what the origin I look for purity of fruit, personality, character and a sense of place. For a wine to be great it must stand the test of time.”
René and his family are very committed to protecting and preserving the Napa Valley for future generations using sustainable practices. Both of Merryvale’s estate vineyards have been Napa Green Farm certified. He and his wife, Laurence, live in the St. Helena community with their three young daughters, Jenna, Jade and Corinna.
Robert Parker on Merryvale’s 2012 “Profile”:
“92 points. The flagship wine at Merryvale is their Profile, and the 2012 Proprietary Red Blend Profile carries a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Malbec, 10% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. Beautiful blueberry, white flowers, black and red currants, as well as some incense and camphor jump from the glass of this stunningly proportioned, complex wine. The mouthfeel is medium to full-bodied with superb purity, enticing texture and oodles of beautiful ripe fruit that cascade over the palate. I think of it as a gracious and somewhat restrained, but authoritative Napa Red Wine. It should drink well for 12-15+ years.”
(Menu subject to change)
Aged Parmigiano-Reggiano DOP with 10 year-old Leonardi Balsamic Vinegar
Starmont Sauvignon Blanc
Seared Scallop on a bed of Baby Lettuces with Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Merryvale Carneros Chardonnay
Mushroom Bourguignon over Polenta
Merryvale Carneros Pinot Noir
New Mexico’s Four Daughters Land & Cattle Châteaubriand with Simple Red Wine Sauce
Balsamic Glazed Beets and Greens
Merryvale Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
“Profile”, Merryvale’s Signature Bordeaux Blend
Chocolate Caramel Tort
The Merryvale Vineyards Wine Dinner
Friday, January 29, 2016
$125 per person plus tax and gratuity
The Blonde Bear Tavern
106 Sutton Place
Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico