Merlot is a dark blue-colored wine grape variety, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. Its softness and "fleshiness", combined with its earlier ripening, makes Merlot a popular grape for blending with the sterner, later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon, which tends to be higher in tannin. Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Merlot is one of the primary grapes used in Bordeaux wine, and it is the most widely planted grape in the Bordeaux wine regions. While Merlot is made across the globe, there tends to be two main styles. The "International style" favored by many New World wine regions tends to emphasize late harvesting to gain physiological ripeness and produce inky, purple colored wines that are full in body with high alcohol and lush, velvety tannins with intense, plum and blackberry fruit. While this international style is practiced by many Bordeaux wine producers, the traditional "Bordeaux style" of Merlot involves harvesting Merlot earlier to maintain acidity and producing more medium-bodied wines with moderate alcohol levels that have fresh, red fruit flavors (raspberries, strawberries) and potentially leafy, vegetal notes.
- Item #: i_242430Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Vinous Media: 94Quilceda Creek has received more 100-point scores from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate than any other winery in Washington. Paul Golitzin is winemaker and son of founders Alex and Jeannette Golitzin. He learned his masterful touch with Bordeaux varietals from not only his father, but also his great uncle Andre Tchelistcheff (Cabernet Sauvignon would not be ANYWHERE near its current success without Andre's work in the Napa Valley), however Paul has developed his own style and worked with the amazing fruit from the area. Eastern Washington state is very arid and these grapes only receive approximately 9 inches of rain per year (less than SoCal). Comprised of fruit from four of the best vineyards in the region, we were, again, in the right place at the right time to get a healthy allocation of this ripe, forward and hedonistic Cabernet-blend from the most sought-after producer in Washington State!
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "This is a sensational vintage from Quilceda's Paul and Alex Golitzin! Both the classic Columbia Valley Cabernet and the Galitzine Vineyard are sheer perfection, and the Palengat release is also just about as good as it gets. These are incredible wines that offer everything you could want from Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon, and readers owe it to themselves to try these wines!"
"A blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, the sensational 2014 Palengat Vineyard is loaded with notions of chocolate covered plums, licorice, roasted herbs, and graphite/lead pencil shavings. Up there with the of the top vintages of the cuvee, this full-bodied, rounded and hedonistic 2014 shines in the vintage, has no hard edges, gorgeous purity, and plenty of ripe, sweet tannin. It’s a serious mouthful of a Cabernet and will drink nicely for 10-15 years."
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 94 POINTS - "Bright red-ruby; not hugely saturated. Alluring, high-toned aromas of cassis, boysenberry and gingerbread spices. Suave and fine-grained, offering a lovely balance of sweetness of berry fruit and harmonious acidity; uncommonly complex, as the ripeness ranges from lightly herbal to nearly overripe without crossing either line. This plush, broad wine really vibrates on the long, subtle, slowly building finish, which features fine-grained tannins."
- Item #: i_253260Bottle Size: 750mlThe Tempest – a famous play, a violent storm, and the name of Realm's Merlot-based blend, fashioned after the great wines of Pomerol in Bordeaux. The Tempest was the first proprietary wine Realm released, so named for the "perfect" storm of three grape varietals that became available at the same time, from the same vineyard, in 2002 -- the year of Realm's tumultuous beginning. Though their equipment was borrowed and the winery they occupied unfinished, Realm's grapes were sound that year – beautiful in fact – and the resulting wine reflected a fierce determination to brave the storm. The Tempest is still made with beautiful grapes, from vineyards such as Beckstoffer Orchard and Dr. Crane, as well as Blair Vineyard in Calistoga. Predominantly Merlot, with lesser amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot depending on vintage, The Tempest is a roiling cauldron of lush, bright, red fruit – a wine that shows what Merlot can be in the right hands, from the right vineyards.
- Item #: i_268140Bottle Size: 1.5LSwitchback Ridge Wines are sourced exclusively from the Peterson Family Vineyard in Calistoga. The property has been in the Peterson family since 1914 and encompasses nearly 100 acres located at the mouth of Dutch Henry Canyon. Robert Foley continues to lead the winemaking and in typical Foley fashion, this Merlot is huge!