2015 Amuse Bouche by Heidi Barrett
Region: Napa Valley
Heidi Barrett grew up in the Napa Valley in a winemaking family and was destined to become one of California's leading winemakers. It is said that winemaking is a combination of science and art. With a scientist-winemaker father and an artist mother it is no big surprise that Heidi was drawn to the wine industry. With great enthusiasm, a love for what she does, and an incredible wealth of experience, Heidi blends the art and science of winemaking like few can.
In 2002, Heidi partnered with longtime friend John Schwartz to create Amuse Bouche, a Pomerol-inspired Merlot from Napa Valley. Recognizing that the cult wine phenomenon has created an almost aspirational class structure among collectors, the partners decided to make this limited edition wine available to a much broader consumer base. Winemaker Heidi Barrett explains, "We have created Amuse Bouche, a limited edition, superb Pomerol style wine with the added value of limited edition art that is available to consumers through a variety of channels."
Growing up in Napa Valley in a winemaking family, Heidi Barrett was destined to become one of California’s leading winemakers. Graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. Degree in Fermentation Science in 1980, Heidi has exposed herself to a wide range of winemaking experiences and started making her own wine in 1994.
In 2002, she found Amuse Bouche, commonly known as the Pomerol-inspired Merlot from Napa Valley with her longtime friend, John Schwartz. Recognizing that the cult wine phenomenon has created an almost aspirational class structure among collectors, the partners decided to make this limited-edition wine available to a much broader consumer base.
Heidi Barrett has been a wine judge at various competitions over the last 20 years, was president of Napa Valley Wine Tech, and has graced the covers of both The Wine News and The Wine Enthusiast. She has been a featured guest on several television programs, was winemaker of the year, made Parker’s list of wine personalities of the year 1994,1995 and is on Parker’s wine heroines list of 1998. Parker has dubbed her the “first lady of wine”.
Amuse Bouche is a Napa Valley winery that was established in 2002 by John Schwartz and prominent Napa winemaker Heidi Barrett. The winery's flagship Pomerol-inspired Merlot was created in response to Napa's famously elusive Cult Cabernet wines. Each label features a commissioned piece of art by a prominent artist.
The first vintage of Amuse Bouche was limited to 3000 bottles, and was produced from Merlot and Cabernet Franc grown in Oakville.
96 POINTS DECANTER MAGAZINE
"Youthful and charismatic winemaker, Heidi Barrett combines her 40 years of winemaking with entrepreneur John Schwartz to deliver Amuse Bouche's Napa Valley Red Blend. This Pomerol-inspired blend is crafted from Rutherford's hillside vineyards and delivers a story of the source and Heidi's winemaking skills. The 2015 delivers all the goods, with lifted aromatics of dried violets, bay leaf and thyme, and classic Merlot notes of cranberry with a sassy appeal. It has an acid-driven finish that's full of stamina. Drinking Window 2019 - 2036" - Eduardo Dingler, Decanter, January 2019
94+ POINTS THE WINE ADVOCATE
"Composed of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, the 2015 Proprietary Red Blend Amuse Bouche is medium to deep garnet-purple in color with gorgeous scents of plum preserves, wild blueberries and blackberry pie with hints of cloves, star anise, Sichuan pepper, lilacs and rose hip tea. The palate is full-bodied, rich and captivating with an alluring frame of velvety tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing very long and very spicy." - Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, October 2018