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_235180Bottle Size: 750mlSure, this varietal has been the whipping boy for the past several years, but when an incredible Merlot like this comes along, you’ve simply got to put prejudice aside and drink this delicious wine! Dr. Thomas Kenefick fell in love with wine country some 25 years ago and subsequently bought a 125-acre property at the foothills of the Palisade Mountains in Calistoga. Initially, he nursed the vineyard to health and sold grapes to several notable Napa Valley producers including Arietta, Buccella, Etude, Lewis, Phelps, T-Vine and Plumjack's new Cade winery. In 2002 he started bottling wine under his own label.
He has tapped the shoulder of Kent Jarman to make his wines, and his talented blending technique shows in this bottle. This Merlot is not your average Merlot; copious notes of red fruit, strawberry jam and spicy notes. Fresh berry preserve shows on the entry, bright acidity integrates the oak tannin, creating a creamy mid palate.
- Item #: i_276550Bottle Size: 750MLMiner Family Vineyards is a dynamic family-owned winery tucked into the eastern hills of the Oakville appellation, squarely within the heart of Napa Valley. Founded by Dave and Emily Miner along with his folks Ed and Norma, Miner is defined first and foremost by a sensational portfolio of wines, wines consistently characterized by and committed to individualistic style and uncommon quality.
This commitment to the production of fine wines led the Miners to the Krupp Brothers of Stagecoach Vineyards. The Stagecoach vineyard surely must be one of the most ambitious vineyard developments to date. Situated upon and named for an 1800s stagecoach trail, this 800-acre vineyard was laboriously carved from enormous rocks and boulders high atop the eastern hills of Napa Valley. At nearly 1500 feet above the Valley floor and nearly straddling the Oakville Ranch property, this vineyard has quickly caught fire with winemakers searching for grapes of uncommonly deep and profoundly complex nature. Terrior-driven, the meticulously farmed blocks are hand-picked according to Miner's winemaker Gary Brookman's specifications.
Loaded with rich ripe fruit and spice notes with touches of toasty oak, this Merlot has a nice firm grip from fine tannins boasting a huge lengthy finish uncommon in many Merlots made today. Enjoy now or you can tuck this away in the cellar for a few years!
- 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!
- Item #: i_276637Bottle Size: 750MLThe 2013 Merlot exhibits terrific mocha and plummy fruit along with plenty of cherry, herb, and chocolate notes. A soft texture with attractive spice and sweet fruit.
- Item #: i_270720Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 100ROBERT PARKER 100 POINTS - "The 2013 La Muse, like all of the 2013s, comes about one-third from Alexander Valley vineyards, 40-plus percent from Chalk Hill, and the rest Knights Valley and Bennett Valley – all high-elevation hillside vineyards. A blend of 89% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec at 14.3% alcohol, the wine is amazingly like a great vintage of Petrus, with mulberry, black cherry, licorice, truffle and unctuous, thick, juicy fruit all present in this full-bodied masterpiece. The tannins are still present. The wine has purity and savory presence and is remarkable. The finish goes on for well past a minute. This wine would probably benefit from 5-8 years of bottle age and last 40-50 years."