- Item #: i_201230Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "Arietta's 2014 Merlot Hudson Vineyards is gorgeous. Surprisingly, it is also richer, deeper and more pedigreed than the Quartet and Cabernet Sauvignon in this vintage. Exquisitely layered and supple, the 2014 possesses striking depth to match its creamy, inviting personality. Layers of plum, black cherry and mocha built into the supple, inviting finish. Naturally, the 2014 is quite young. It can be enjoyed today, but readers who appreciate the complexity that develops only in bottle will have to be patient."
- Item #: i_206720Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92Vinous Media: 91Blackbird Vineyards has provided quietly fruit to many of Napa's finest wineries: Lail, Pride, and Viader. Mia Klein, formerly at Dalla Valle, created a vineyard-designate for her highly acclaimed 1999 Selene Merlot. Three of the top critics (Parker, Tanzer and Wine Spectator), scored their first release in the 90s. Blackbird continues to provide fruit to such winemakers as Bob Foley (Robert Foley, Hourglass).
The Blackbird wines are crafted by Aaron Pott, a winemaker who has a one-of-a-kind pedigree and produces several highly sought-after wines. The grapes for the Arise bottling come brom Blackbird's own vineyards in the Oak Knoll District, augmented with fruit from Hudson Vineyard in Carneros, Stagecoach Vineyard in the Vaca Mountains, and Crocker and Starr Vineyard.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Arise Proprietary Red is a blend of 55% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot. It has a deep garnet-purple color and opens with fragrant black cherries, black raspberries and warm plums scents with hints of underbrush, dried herbs, raspberry leaves and spice box. Medium-bodied and elegantly styled in the mouth, the palate has great vivacity with a grainy texture and long, lively finish."
ANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Arise is a very pretty wine. Lifted and floral, with lovely brightness from the Cabernet Franc in the blend, the 2016 is super-expressive today. Bright red cherry, rose petal and mint notes add freshness to this attractive, mid-weight red from Blackbird."
- Item #: i_207510Bottle Size: 750mlCakebread's 2016 Napa Valley Merlot is a savory, bold and structured wine, with a firm foundation. Hints of dried herbs, along with aromas of deep blackberry and black cherry, are evident along with mineral notes of crushed stone. The flavors are deeply concentrated with black plum, as well as fresh blackberries to match the nose. Characteristic freshness and acidity are followed by silky textures and refined, elegant tannins.
- Item #: i_215470Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93A blend of 50% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, and 15% Petit Verdot.
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2017 Merlot Cuvee 37.2 has really turned out beautifully. Racy and opulent to the core, with terrific persistence, the Merlot has so much to offer. Black cherry, plum, chocolate, mocha and licorice all build in a super-expressive, inviting wine that will drink well right out of the gate. The blend is based on a core of Merlot from Kenefick Ranch and Cabernet Franc from Rutherford."
- Item #: i_216760Bottle Size: 750mlNot to take away from any of the other wines, but this is the wine that really stood out for several of us. And why not? They’ve been at the forefront of Merlot for decades! Ruby/garnet in color, this is a luscious and forward Merlot with a touch of Cabernet blended in, displaying aromas and flavors of black cherry, loganberry, blueberry, plum and cinnamon spice. A knockout for the price, the wine finishes with velvety tannins, excellent purity, and a lip-smacking finish!
- Item #: i_217330Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker's Tasting Notes: "A classic expression of Napa Valley Merlot, this wine offers alluring aromas of lush cherry, raspberry, cocoa and freshly baked pie crust. The cherry and raspberry notes are echoed on the silky palate, where fine-grained tannins and flavors of ripe plum, blueberry, licorice and subtle baking spice draw the wine to a long, elegant finish."
- 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_223490Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "A blend of 87.7% Merlot, 6.1% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.1% Petit Verdot and 2.1% Malbec, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Merlot features ripe, expressive warm plums, black cherries and blackberry scents with touches of spice cake, fallen leaves and tobacco. Full, rich, plushly textured and laden with spiced black fruits, it finishes with a compelling peppery lift. 1,102 cases produced."
- Item #: i_227151Bottle Size: 750MLThis is a Cabernet lover's Merlot! With wonderfully complex aromas of cherry, cedar, cocoa powder and a hint of tea leaves, this wine’s firm tannins and food-friendly acidity make it the perfect partner with a variety of hearty meals.
- Item #: i_233940Bottle Size: 375ml**Please note, this is a half sized bottleKeenan Winery is located in Spring Mountain District, high in the Mayacamas mountain range above the town of Saint Helena. Eleven acres of Merlot vines have been planted in the rocky soils surrounding the winery, and it is these vines that produce some of the finest Merlot in Napa. The vineyards are situated above the dense layer of fog that creeps up the Napa Valley most evenings. Consequently the vines warm up earlier in the morning and stay warm through the night. The combination of warm temperatures, steep hillside vine rows and gravelly soils promotes more stress on the vines leading to increased intensity in the finished wine.
- Item #: i_233980Bottle Size: 750mlKeenan Winery is located in Spring Mountain District, high in the Mayacamas mountain range above the town of Saint Helena. Eleven acres of Merlot vines have been planted in the rocky soils surrounding the winery, and it is these vines that produce some of the finest Merlot in Napa. The vineyards are situated above the dense layer of fog that creeps up the Napa Valley most evenings. Consequently the vines warm up earlier in the morning and stay warm through the night. The combination of warm temperatures, steep hillside vine rows and gravelly soils promotes more stress on the vines leading to increased intensity in the finished wine.
- Item #: i_233950Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 95ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "Another of the highlights in this range, the 2016 Red Blend Mernet Reserve is wonderfully dense and fleshy in the glass. Succulent red cherry and pomegranate fruit fill out as this succulent, racy blend shows off its alluring personality. The Mernet is impeccable in its balance."
- 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_236550Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 94JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "The 2017 Merlot (there's 11% Petit Verdot) also comes from the Keyes Vineyard on Howell Mountain. Juicy, ripe, and sexy, with plenty of chocolate, black cherries, and earth aroma and flavors, it's textured, medium to full-bodied, and beautifully done."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Merlot Howell Mountain reveals pretty baked plums, blueberry pie and blackberry compote notes with touches of cloves, star anise, cracked black pepper and black soil plus a waft of underbrush. Full-bodied, the palate is densely packed with crunchy black fruit layers, framed by very ripe, rounded tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and peppery."
- Item #: i_237590Bottle Size: 750MLMission fig, Mozart, Linzer torte - Lewis Cellars' 2018 Merlot exudes sumptuous, Viennese character. Red currants, cassis, and rose petals play in concert with juicy, vibrant character creating a symphony of flavors and a final flourish of chocolate.
- Item #: i_246930Bottle Size: 750mlA perfect example of a Bordeaux-style Merlot, this wine is made to be enjoyed as part of a meal. Its fresh fruit flavors are well balanced by the integrated oak and balanced acidity. Intense berry flavors mingle with spices and caramel notes.
- 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_248750Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93+Vinous Media: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 94ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2016 Merlot is fabulous. Rich, deep and explosive, with tremendous structure, the 2016 has a lot to offer. Black cherry, graphite, chocolate, lavender, mint, spice and savory herbs imbue the Merlot with stunning nuance. Far from an easygoing wine, Pahlmeyer's Merlot is deep and tannic, with plenty of mountain intensity. I would give it a few years in the cellar to allow some of the tannins to soften."
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "Mostly estate fruit, the 2016 Merlot spent 22 months in primarily new French oak. Black cherries, smoked earth, graphite, dark chocolate, and licorice notes all emerge from this rich, full-bodied, concentrated Merlot that has subtle background oak but displays a supple, seamless balance style that’s a joy to drink."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - "A blend of 97% Merlot, 2% Malbec and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Merlot is very deep garnet-purple colored and offers exuberant notions of crushed red and black plums, warm blackberries and Indian spices with hints of cardamom, sautéed herbs, garrigue and dusty soil. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-filling plum-laced flavors with a velvety frame and loads of freshness on the long, spicy finish."
- Item #: i_249790Bottle Size: 750MLPeju's 2016 Merlot is spectacular, offering up fragrant, layered aromas of juicy pomegranate, baking spice, and a hint of cedar. Lush fruits of cherry and blackberry envelop the palate. Soft hints of toasted almond and vanilla culminate with an elegant finish. Delicious now, this Merlot will continue to mature for the next 6-8 years.
- Item #: i_275820Bottle Size: 750MLThe 2018 vintage has a beautiful and complex nose – black cherry, boysenberry jam, plum, and fresh cut flowers come through first, then cardamom, nutmeg, and a touch of cocoa and vanilla enter giving the nose depth and intrigue. The palate too has great depth and complexity – flavors of red cherries, muddled berries, and dried herbs, with a creamy texture and silky tannin complimented by a fresh, vibrant acidity.
- Item #: i_251830Bottle Size: 375mlWine Advocate: 93**Please note, this is a half sized bottleROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Containing 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Merlot offers up pronounced notes of plum preserves, baked blackberries and black forest cake with suggestions of baking spices, licorice and dark chocolate. Full-bodied, rich and velvety textured, the palate is laden with dark fruit and spice layers, beautifully defined by a refreshing line, finishing with great persistence. 4,404 cases produced."
- Item #: i_248410Bottle Size: 750mlThe only thing really changing at Prisoner Wine Company is their level of awesomeness! In fact, these wines still continue to receive the same scores that were awarded at the inception of Prisoner! Since that time, they produced two new wines; the Cuttings Cabernet-Blend and Blindfold White. These wines are following suit, and have come some of our better sellers at their respective pricepoints. Jen Beloz is Prisoner's winemaker, and she worked with Dave Phinney to keep the "house style". So…Prisoner wines are still rockin'!
Based on the success of their newer bottlings, we have been very eager to get our hands on the Thorn Merlot. There are a few vineyards in Napa Valley that are so amazing, they only go to wineries that will do the fruit justice. Whenever we see these vineyard sources, we know there's something delicious in the bottle! Prisoner's Thorn is comprised from fruit from a few of these vineyards; family-owned vineyards of varying ages and soils, lending to the layers of character and complexity. These vineyards are Hudson, Stagecoach, Antica, and Trefethen; these vineyards also sell fruit to other notable wineries, such as Arietta, Kongsgaard, Lewis, Pahlmeyer, and Paul Hobbs!
Aromas of savory spice, black cherry, and mocha with cedar and blackberry. The entry delivers an elegant balance with flavors of black plum and anise, along with hints of grilled rosemary and toasted oak. Velvety, chocolate tannins develop into a robust finish. Bravo Prisoner…keep sending us more wines like this!
- 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."