Amuse Bouche Winery

2009 Merlot

2011 Offering
Premiere Napa Valley
Auction 15 | Lot No. 26
Vintage: 2009

Amuse Bouche Winery


5 cases produced


Noun—French: “Amusement for the mouth,” tantalized by food or wine. This quarter barrel lot comes from our estate vineyards in the Rutherford appellation. Owner/winemaker Heidi P. Barrett has created a special proprietary blend of 89% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc from five separate Taransaud barrels, featuring crème de cassis, caramel, black cherry and mocha flavors.

Aging Process


Wine Facts

  • Wine is 100% estate grown and bottled

Tasting Chart

bone dry very sweet
light body very full bodied
soft, gentle very crisp
no tannins heavy tannins

Heidi Barrett

Winemaker, Amuse Bouche Winery

Winemaker, Heidi Barrett

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 surprise that Heidi was drawn to the wine industry. With great enthusiasm, a love for what she does and a wealth of experience, Heidi blends the art and science of winemaking as few can.

Throughout high school, she spent her summers in wineries and vineyards, taking on all jobs from sorting vine cuttings to bottling line work. She then continued her winemaking education at UC Davis. While at Davis she was an assistant to Dr. Ann Noble, the developer of the aroma wheel. Heidi also did an internship at a large co-op winery in southern Germany, where she learned the art of making balanced wines, no matter what the variety. Heidi also started making her own wine, La Sirena, in 1994 with a tiny production of Sangiovese. "I was looking for a name for my wine that would be as magical as I think wine is. La Sirena which means "the Mermaid" in Italian and Spanish, and is a way of representing two of my great passions." In 1996, she made the first Cabernet Sauvignon for La Sirena and in 2000, the first Syrah.

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 had created an almost aspirational class structure among collectors, the partners decided to make this limited-edition wine available to a much broader consumer base.
Personal: Heidi Barrett lives in Calistoga with her husband, Bo (winemaker at Chateau Montelena) and their two daughters, Remi and Chelsea. She is a well-liked and respected winemaker in the Napa Valley. She also very much enjoys being a mom, skiing, painting, and her garden.

Country born: United States

Education: After graduating from UC Davis in 1980 with a B.S. Degree in Fermentation Science, she went to work for Justin Meyer at Franciscan Vineyards and Silver Oak. After subsequent crush jobs at both Lindeman's Wines in Australia and Rutherford Hill, Heidi Barrett became assistant winemaker to Jerry Luper at Bouchaine Vineyards. Then in 1983, at age 25 became winemaker at Buehler Vineyards. It was here that she first attracted critical acclaim by greatly improving the wine quality and taking the production from 6,000 cases to 20,000 cases. This wide range of experience has given Heidi a unique insight into winemaking. "I think it is important to have a wide variety of experience to draw from. You can't just step in and be the winemaker unless you have a lot of experience in the cellar. I wanted to make sure that when I finally had the title of winemaker, I had earned it."

In 1988, she left Buehler to become an independent winemaker (freelance), making wine for a number of small wineries. Within a week she was hired by Gustav Dalla Valle and was winemaker at Dalla Valle Vineyards until spring 1996. It was there that she took her abilities to the next level creating some powerful yet elegant Cabernets, including the famous "Maya" cult wine, a proprietary Cabernet blend that received two perfect 100 point scores from Robert Parker ( the '92 and '93) as well as record breaking bids at the Napa Valley Wine Auction. She started making wine for Screaming Eagle in 1992, which has also received two perfect 100 pt scores (the '92 and recent '97). A 6-liter bottle of '92 SE set a world record for the highest price ever paid for a single bottle of wine at the 2000 Napa Valley Wine Auction selling for $500,000. A vertical offering of this cult wine went for $650,000 at the 2001 NVWA.

Since 1988 she has developed an impressive client list of ultra-premium wineries. In addition to her very own wines from La Sirena, she is currently the winemaker for Amuse Bouche, Paradigm, Lamborn, Kenzo Estate, Revana, Au Sommet, Vin Perdu, and Fantesca. Past winemaking clients include Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle, Jones Family, Grace Family, Vineyard 29, David Arthur, Barbour Vineyards, and Showket.

Years in the wine industry: 20-30 years

Honors / Awards:
She 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 (one of two from the US). Parker has dubbed her the "first lady of wine".

Winemaking Philosophy:
"I like the challenge of working with so many different wines. My philosophy is to make the best wines possible with emphasis on the unique characteristics of each individual vineyard. I try to maximize the potential of each vintage in a very balanced, elegant style of winemaking."

Heidi Barrett

Winemaker, Paradigm Winery

Winemaker, Heidi Barrett

Many years as a consulting winemaker. I have been with Paradigm since 1991, their first vintage.

Country born: United States

Education: University of California at Davis

Years in the wine industry: 30+ years

Winemaking Philosophy:
Balanced, less is more.

Beverage Warehouse

4935 McConnell Avenue
Los Angeles  CA  90066


Premiere Napa Valley Wine Collection

Winery Vintage Variety Appellation Fanciful Auction
ZD Wines Non-vintage Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Petit Abacus 22
Arietta 2015 White Wine Napa Valley White Keys: A Melodic Inversion 21
Frias Family Vineyard 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 21
TATE 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 21
TEXTBOOK 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Over the Rainbow 21
Trinchero Napa Valley 2015 Malbec Atlas Peak Haystack Vineyard 21
ZD Wines Napa Green Winery Non-vintage Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Petit Abacus 21
Arietta 2014 Red Wine Napa Valley XX 20
Etude 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 20
Paradigm Winery 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 20
Parallel Napa Valley 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 20
Tate Wines 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Jacks Vineyard 20
Vineyard 29 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 20
ZD Wines Napa Green Winery Non-vintage Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Petit Abacus 20
Baldacci Family Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District First Born 19
Howell at the Moon, Kelleher Family & Peacock Family 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 3 Sum 19
Madrigal Family Winery 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 19
PATEL - Napa Valley 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 19
Red Mare Wines 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Hestia Farms 19
Schramsberg Vineyards 1989 Sparkling Wine Napa Valley J. Schram Late Disgorged 19
Tate Wines 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Tale of Two Mountains 19
Vineyard 29 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena Power, Elegance, Perfection 19
ZD Wines Non-vintage Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Petit Abacus 19
Arietta 2012 Red Wine Napa Valley Apotheosis 18
Schramsberg Vineyards 1993 Sparkling Wine Napa Valley Reserve Late Disgorged 18
TEXTBOOK 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville All or Nothing! 18
Vineyard 29 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena St. Helena Special 18
ZD Wines Non-vintage Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Petit Abacus 18
Detert Family Vineyards 2011 Cabernet Franc Oakville 17
Krupp Brothers 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 17
Promise 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 17
Schramsberg Vineyards 1987 Sparkling Wine Napa Valley J. Schram Late-Disgorged 17
TEXTBOOK 2011 Red Wine Oakville Dr. Strangebrix 17
Vineyard 29 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena The St. Helena Special 17
ZD Wines Non-vintage Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Petit Abacus 17
Buccella 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 16
Frias Family Vineyard 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District 16
Krupp Brothers 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 16
Parallel Napa Valley 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Fortune Teller 16
Schramsberg Vineyards 1996 Sparkling Wine Napa Valley J. Schram Late Disgorged 16
Trinchero Napa Valley 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Mountain to Mountain Cuvee 16
Vineyard 29 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 16
ZD Wines Non-vintage Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Petit Abacus 16
Amuse Bouche Winery 2009 Merlot Rutherford 15
TEXTBOOK 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Professor Pey 15
Vineyard 29 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena 15
ZD Wines Non-vintage Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Petit Abacus 15
This website uses cookies.
Learn more about our privacy policy.
Dismiss this notice