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_212350Bottle Size: 750mlWINERY NOTES - "Our 2016 Mitsuko's Vineyard Merlot is a rich and complex wine with expressive blackberry, Cassis, crushed red fruits and plum aromas, underlain by more earthy tones of fresh pipe tobacco, anise, cinnamon spice and plums. On the palate the wine is powerful and complex, displaying layer upon layer of flavors, that start with dark fruits such as plum, blackcurrants and ripe cherries and move into more subtle notes, of herbes de Provence, spice box and fresh cut tobacco leaf. The tannins are generous for a Merlot and drive the finish with substantial mid-palate volume and a persistent and intensely pleasurable flavor."
- Item #: i_215470Bottle Size: 750mlA blend of 65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot.
ANTONIO GALLONI 91-94 POINTS - "The 2016 Merlot Cuvee 37.2 may turn out to be even better than 2015. Dark and sumptuous in the glass, the 2016 exudes richness in all of its dimensions. The tannin needs to soften a bit more, but otherwise, the 2016 is shaping up to be fabulous."
- Item #: i_223050Bottle Size: 750mlContinuing the legacy of the Wagner Family's other profound wine ventures such as Caymus, Belle Glos, and Conundrum, Jenny Wagner takes the reins of Emmolo Winery and is making a hit with these new releases! Her family has a long-standing history in Napa Valley beginning with her great-grandfather, Italian immigrant, Salvatore Emmolo, who planted grapevines and started a grapevine rootstock nursery in Rutherford in the 1920's. His son, and Jenny's grandfather, Frank Emmolo, ran Emmolo Nursery and built a strong following amongst Napa Valley grapegrowers - becoming the leading supplier to Napa Valley vintners for five decades.
Jenny Wagner sourced grapes for this vintage from the Emmolo Oak Knoll vineyard located near the city of Napa in a sub-appellation called Oak Knoll. It's ten miles nearer the San Francisco Bay than Rutherford and has a cooler microclimate. The site was strategically chosen for its soils and moderate climate, which are appropriate for growing Merlot. Merlot flourishes at this site thanks to the cooler weather - a mild climate allows the berries to hang on the vine longer, letting them fully mature. Crop thinning is essential to balance the vines with a low yield of rich, concentrated fruit that's dark in color and has chalky tannins and ripe flavors. This wine is very much an expression of the well-drained, low vigor soil that is light in color in the Oak Knoll appellation.
- Item #: i_224280Bottle Size: 750MLWinery's Tasting Notes: "Produced entirely from grapes we cultivate at our Home Ranch in eastern Santa Ynez Valley, our Estate Grown Merlot is a sumptuous red wine boasting fragrant black cherry and dark plum aromas mingled with appealing vanilla, milk chocolate and light herbal scents. Juicy and succulent on the palate, the wine's concentrated dark cherry, plum and cassis flavors gain a zesty tea-leaf spice tone in the long, savory finish. Beautifully balanced, with supple tannins, our Merlot is delicious on release with poultry, duck, game and beef dishes, but it handsomely rewards an additional 3-4 years of bottle aging."
- Item #: i_227470Bottle Size: 750mlA blend of 43% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Malbec, and 4% Syrah, the 2016 Collusion opens with warm, sweet and inviting scents of blackberry jam, raspberry, forest floor, vanilla and cedar. The wine is very broad and open on the palate, with mingling flavors of fresh, ripe black cherry, restrained oak, vanilla and clove that continue well into the lingering finish. The luxurious mouthfeel provided by velvety, mature tannins assures that this wine will continue to improve in the bottle.
- Item #: i_237590Bottle Size: 750MLMandolin, vocals, violin and guitar, you'll find tons of hootenanny fun in this lavish 2016 Merlot. Black raspberry fruit laden with sweet, briarwood spice, molasses and mocha-java all find voice in this party in a bottle. Juicy, vibrant and supple with chocolate-cherry tannins and natural acidity.
- Item #: i_247270Bottle Size: 750MLRob Mondavi, Jr. literally learned winemaking at the knees of his father Michael, grandfather Robert and uncle Tim. As a child, he also chased winemaker Tony Coltrin around Robert Mondavi Winery, where Tony began working in 1973. Since then, Rob and Tony have pursued parallel paths in Napa Valley, immersing themselves in the culture of wine and developing a love for grape-growing and winemaking. It is that shared passion that fuels their present-day partnership: creating the fine wines of Oberon, which honor Napa Valley and the Mondavi family's rich winemaking heritage.
As a third-generation winemaker and Napa Valley native, Rob Mondavi, Jr. has always understood that the region is uniquely suited for growing classic Bordeaux varieties. With the Oberon label - originally named for the eponymous king in Shakespeare's winsome comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream - he has created high-quality Napa Valley wines to be enjoyed every day.
Rob and fellow winemaker, Tony Coltrin, sourced grapes from throughout Napa Valley's finest appellations, including Rutherford, Oakville, Stags Leap, Atlas Peak and Wooden Valley. By blending fruit from Napa's classic and emerging appellations, they were able to create a wonderfully complex, well-rounded mouthful of wine with layered flavors of blueberry and chocolate.
- Item #: i_252160Bottle Size: 750MLThe Parcel 41 Merlot shines ruby red in the glass, with shimmering purple undertones. The nose is dark and alluring, with aromas of black currant, saddle leather, and milk chocolate, with a subtle and delicate floral note. The mouth is soft and substantial, with round, mouth-filling tannins layering smoothly with the densely packed flavors of chocolate-covered cherries, spicy black plum, and smoky espresso. This wine is a crowd pleaser and will pair well with a meal of pan roasted pork chops with thyme and currants, served with bacon-roasted Brussels sprouts and a wild rice pilaf.
- Item #: i_275820Bottle Size: 750MLThe 2016 vintage has layers of aromatics ranging from black cherry, plum, and raspberry to graham cracker, vanilla, butterscotch, and sweet hickory smoke. These flavors extend to the palate, which has a rich and silky entry with bright acidity and firm structure, resulting in great tension, balance, and persistence on the finish.
- Item #: i_252030Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 90WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "Made up of 97% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Malbec aged for 21 months in 24% new oak (88% French and 12% Hungarian) the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Merlot opens with bags of plums, baked cherries and mulberries-inspired scents with touches of incense, Chinese five spice and dusty soil. Full-bodied with a chewy frame and compelling freshness, it finishes on an earthy note."
- Item #: i_255240Bottle Size: 750MLIf Merlot has dropped out of favor, why the heck do we sell so much of this? It's because you can't stop a good-- make that great-- thing! Rombauer has earned an insatiable following for their reds and whites, but this new vintage of Merlot might be their best Merlot release ever! The grapes are pulled from several well-respected vineyards in Napa Valley's Carneros region, including the famed Sangiacomo Vineyard! Aged for 17 months in a French oak for that perfect balance of structure and opulence, this delicious Merlot is crafted from cool-climate grapes with a warm climate personality.
Aromas of fresh, ripe blueberries, ripe plum and black currant intertwine with notes of cedar, vanilla and pie crust. This medium-bodied wine is plush with flavors of plums, blueberries and figs upfront, leading to juicy red fruit on the midpalate. Delicious now, its depth and structure provide long cellaring potential.
- Item #: i_275220Bottle Size: 750mlThis vintage exhibits a beautiful, dark ruby color and enticing aromas of black cherry, bramble berries, cocoa, cedar, and rose petals. The palate is supple with generous red and black fruits accentuated by vanilla and spice, finishing with both supple fruit and polished tannins. While drinking well at release, it will improve considerably with bottle age, and should cellar well for up to ten years from vintage.
- Item #: i_259955Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94This is the premiere release for an exciting new Bordeaux-style blend from Shafer Vineyards; one of the most prized wineries in all of the Napa Valley! TD-9 is a proprietary blend that celebrates a bold move. In 1973, in the space of a few months, John Shafer went from riding morning commuter trains in Chicago to teaching himself to drive a TD-9 tractor in his Napa Valley vineyard. He'd never grown grapes or made wine in his life. That spirit of risk-taking and adventure still guides Shafer today and inspired the creation of this new wine.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The 2016 Red Blend TD-9 is blended of 58% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Malbec. It has a very deep purple-black color and displays ready-for-biz, fragrant scents of warm plums, Black Forest cake and blueberry compote with touches of baking spices, bay leaves and potpourri. Full-bodied with a serious, firm frame of ripe, grainy tannins, the palate delivery loads of black fruit and spicy layers with bags of vivacity and panache."
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2016 TD-9 is just as impressive from bottle as it was from barrel. Bright floral notes and a rush of red cherry/red plum fruit give energy to this pliant, super-expressive wine. The 2016 has firmed up a bit since it was bottled, so a few more months should do the trick. The blend is 58% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Malbec."
- Item #: i_265360Bottle Size: 750MLThis expressive Merlot showcases the varietal’s ability to excel in Napa Valley with its generous, juicy fruit flavors, intriguing baking spice notes and polished structure. It’s incredibly pleasurable and complex with cherry, cranberry, pomegranate, and plum with notes of caramel and cinnamon that persist through the long finish. The wine has depth and nuance with smooth tannins and a lush, lovely texture.
- Item #: i_277180Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Merlot (a barrel sample) has a nose of plums, flowers and herbs with earthy undertones. The full-bodied palate has good concentration and is very firm and chewy, showing oak nuances and finishing long and savory."
Winery's Notes: "Deep dark in glass with gorgeous aromas of blue fruit, pie crust and a touch of coconut husk. On the palate the rich texture combines well with the full bodied tannins and ripe plum and cassis flavors. Layers of fruit intertwine with subtle secondary flavors of briar, cigar box and touch of graphite minerality."
- Item #: i_268860Bottle Size: 750MLBecause Merlot flourishes in relatively cool growing regions with moist soils, it's extremely well-suited to the ancient alluvial loams, temperate climate, and long growing season of the Trefethen family's estate vineyard in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, a sweet spot between Napa's warmer up-valley regions and its cool southern tip.
Trefethen's Merlot delights from the start with a lovely nose of dark cherry and plum. The aroma gives way to savory notes of black pepper, mushrooms and chocolate. The wine is lush and silky tannins back up a full, strong palate with great structure through the end.