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_270850Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 100ROBERT PARKER 100 POINTS - "This winery, one of the gems of the Kendall-Jackson portfolio of boutique wineries, debuted in 1998 and has been hitting on all cylinders since. I suspect top priority is given to Bordelais winemaker Pierre Seillan's choice of the finest fruit he can find from Jackson's holdings in Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill and Knights Valley."
"The 2014 La Muse (2,800 cases ) is a legendary effort. The wine offers an opaque purple color and a gorgeous nose of lead pencil shavings, blackberry, incense, Asian spice, cocoa, plum, and a touch of chocolate and barrique. On the palate, more cassis and blackberry come to the forefront. The wine is unctuous, with adequate acidity and a stunning energy underneath the massive fruit and body. This is a spectacularly fragrant and, at the same time, dense wine, with enough structure (somewhat surprising in this vintage) to last 35-45+ years. The final blend was 88% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 2% Malbec."
- Item #: i_270730Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "Composed of 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec, the 2015 La Muse sports a very deep garnet-purple color, leaping from the glass with exuberant crème de cassis, blueberry pie and licorice notes plus suggestions of Indian spices, dark chocolate, menthol, sautéed herbs and potpourri. Full-bodied, rich and seductive in the mouth, it delivers tons of black and blue fruit preserves flavors, accented by exotic spices, framed with velvety tannins and finishing on a persistent earthy/mineral note. 3,900 cases were made."
ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "The 2015 La Muse is developing beautifully. Ripe, ample and voluptuous in the glass, the 2015 exudes character. Even with all of its obvious intensity, the 2015 has quite a bit of freshness to balance out the ripe, racy Merlot-based fruit. Super-ripe red cherry, plum, mocha and spice notes build into the racy, inviting finish."