Folie a Deux sources the juice for their bottles from the prestigious Alexander Valley, one of the finest winemaking regions in Sonoma County, California.
The history of the region stretches back to 1840 when Cyrus Alexander arrived in what we know today as the Alexander Valley.
Cyrus, having received a land grant from the Mexican government, would manage the ranch given to him for at least four years and, in turn, would receive approximately 8,800 acres of land as payment for services rendered.
By 1889 the first commercial winery in Alexander Valley was formed, opening the floodgates for many more to follow.
Fast forward a bit to the last 40 years. Today the Alexander Valley has changed dramatically from a viticultural standpoint.
Wild apple and plum trees, which once dominated the land, have since disappeared. Wine grapes are the main agricultural focus now, with nearly 15,000 acres of fruit in the Alexander Valley Appellation today.
Folie a Deux Alexander Valley Merlot Review
Folie a Deux prides itself on a long and intimate relationship with growers throughout the valley, sourcing juice from some of the most premium sites in all of Sonoma.
After being harvested and fermented, the wine for this bottle is aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels, lending a nice sense of complexity to the wine.
The winery focuses on Alexander Valley growers who are sustainably farmed and certified for Fish Friendly Farming.
They strive to work exclusively with Sonoma County growers who share their commitment to sustainability and focus on growers reducing energy use, conserving water, and minimizing chemical pesticides.
This wine features a rich, reddish-purple hue, with a meniscus around the edge which has a dullish ruby hue to it.
The wine has intensely heavy legs, which form and fall quite quickly. It is immediately apparent that this wine has quite a hefty body to it.
Aromas of rich black cherries, dark chocolate, sweet pipe tobacco, and freshly ground coffee fill the glass immediately.
After that, you get more subtle notes of cinnamon, clove, and vanilla bean, along with a bit of a toasty, bready characteristic.
This wine is a monster on the tongue. There are flavors of underripe cherries, cedar wood, baking spice, and wood-fired oak.
After that, notes of raspberry and blackberry help to flood the palate with rich, robust flavors that sit long and heavy on the tongue. There is quite a bit of sugar here for Alexander Valley juice, but it is well-balanced and not at all off-putting.
What Does Folie a Deux Alexander Valley Merlot pair With?
This is a great wine for food pairing. Fire-roasted veal, charred pork chops, and portobello burgers topped with gorgonzola cheese are some of my favorite options here.
The wine also works nicely with harder, saltier cheeses, which really helps to highlight the rich fruit present in the wine.
What Wines Are Similar to Folie a Deux Alexander Valley Merlot?
I would start by reaching for some other new-world Merlot. Double Black from Paso Robles, Velvet Devil produced by Charles Smith, and Ancient Peaks (also from Paso) all spring to mind immediately.
If you would like to spring for a step up, I strongly recommend trying the Pedestal Merlot from Longshadows Vintners, which is, in my opinion, one of the best new-world Merlot bottlings of all time.
Frankly, Merlot is not my favorite varietal, and I am not generally a fan of really fruit-intensive offerings. That said, this was quite enjoyable.
Even though it is not my new favorite bottle, it has the potential to be a fantastic crowd-pleaser at your next get-together and has a lot to offer.