- Item #: i_211250Bottle Size: 750mlMerlot excels at Ancient Peaks' estate Margarita Vineyard and has been a mainstay in their small family of wines since day one. Here, ancient sea bed soils combine with a long growing season to yield a Merlot with silky dark fruit flavors and a luscious texture, resulting in what has become one of the Paso Robles region’s most notable Merlots. Ancient Peaks blends fruit from three different Merlot blocks that exhibit a range of distinct qualities, bringing added natural complexity and dimension to the finished wine. These blocks are situated along the slopes of an uplifted ancient sea bed, where the well-drained, calcium-rich soils are distinguished by decomposing oyster fossils.
Ancient Peaks' aim is to capture the signature velvety fruit character of Merlot while showcasing the fine structure inherent to Margarita Vineyard. After destemming, the lots were cold soaked for 72 hours prior to fermentation for a gentle extraction of initial color and flavor. After fermentation and light pressing, the lots were aged for 20 months in a combination of French (70%) and American (30%) oak barrels, 25 percent of which featured new oak.
This Merlot delivers rich black and red fruit aromas with intriguing hints of cedar, mocha and eucalyptus. The palate is juicy and rounded, offering a flavor tapestry of black cherry, raspberry, vanilla and brown spice. Firm tannins and luscious acidity take this Merlot to the next level, finishing with a refined heft that is rooted in its Margarita Vineyard terroir.
90 Points - Wine Enthusiast
- Item #: i_253710Bottle Size: 750MLInspired by the Apotheca, a mysterious place where wine was blended and stored in 13th century Europe, Apothic Red offers a truly unique wine experience. This masterful blend of flavorful Syrah, rich Zinfandel, and smooth Merlot reveals intense fruit aromas and flavors of blackberry and dark cherry layered with hints of mocha, chocolate and brown spice. The plush, velvety mouthfeel and smooth finish round out this intriguing, full-bodied red blend.
- 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_205840Bottle Size: 750MLWhat is Bonterra wine? It’s a family of bright, fresh and balanced varietals just as they’re meant to be. Our organic growing approach creates grapes that are pure, vibrant and intense in flavor. This provides our winemakers with the very best fruit from which to work. From there it is simply about delivering the best expression of that fruit from our vines to your glass.
- Item #: i_206075Bottle Size: 750mlVivid ruby in color, cherry, cassis, and succulent herbs on the fragrant nose are joined by a slowly building tobacco nuance. Plush and supple in texture, showing good depth to the lively bitter cherry and black currant flavors. A smoky note appears on the finish, which features velvety tannins and lingering dark berry character.
- 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_208230Bottle Size: 750mlThis vintage comes from Cannonball's estate vineyard, Adam and Eve, in the Northern Russian River Valley, as well as some favorite vineyards in Sonoma Valley. Fermentation was controlled with a cold soak prior to yeast inoculation and draining and pressing at 2 Brix prior to seed tannin extraction. The 2014 is 91% Merlot blended with small amounts of Petite Sirah and Syrah for complexity.
The aroma of the wine shows fresh huckleberries, light brown spice and nuances of toasty oak. On the palate the wine is medium-full bodied with classic Bordeaux proportions, wonderful concentration, with flavors of cherry, rich chocolate and spiced cake. The wine finishes with perfectly balanced texture and flavor and a refreshing brightness. Enjoy with red meats, duck and pasta with rich sauces.
- Item #: i_276200Bottle Size: 750mlThis little devil is wrapped in a velvet robe. Full with density and bursting with flavor. Dark fruit, cherry, blackberry. Brimming with cedar, pipe tobacco and earth. Truth in a name: Velvet!
- Item #: i_257570Bottle Size: 750mlCold Creek’s 40-year-old vines deliver a big, bold, brooding Merlot. This rich Merlot is loaded with plum, cherry and dark fruit flavors with hints of dark chocolate and coffee. This is our most intense and concentrated Merlot with great ageability.
- Item #: i_212350Bottle Size: 750mlWinery's Tasting Notes: "With a beautiful deep purple hue in the glass, the 2018 Mitsuko's Merlot offers aromas of plums with a touch of licorice and anise. Full bodied with plenty of depth, this Merlot delivers copious dark fruit notes of black currants, briar and plum with a juicy mouth feel. Fresh acidity keeps the palate balanced and clean. As the wine opens, more complex notes of bay leaf, clove and cedar start to develop. All this is surrounded by fine grain tannins that drive the finish. "
- Item #: i_212760Bottle Size: 750mlThe growing season was long and cool, allowing the grapes to hang on the vine and mature longer. As a result, this Merlot exhibits exceptional concentration and a beautiful, lengthy finish. To enrich the color, small amounts of Syrah and Petite Sirah are blended in. Then, the wine is aged in small French oak barrels, which lend lovely notes of sweet vanilla to this elegant, full-bodied Merlot.
- 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_241510Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 93Do you want to get a real glimpse into the characteristics and style of the 2017 vintage in Washington, then you don't need to look any further. Delille has been somewhat under the radar, but if the quality in this Merlot blend doesn't open your eyes, we don't know what will! "D2" is the main highway that runs through Bordeaux, so being that this is a Merlot-based blend (just like the right bank of Bordeaux), the name is apt. This year, the wine is a blend of 66% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot .
WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - ""Opens with supple and expressive red currant, green olive and clove flavors, then shifts gears and takes on increasingly muscular yet polished tannins on the long finish. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2028.""
- Item #: i_215500Bottle Size: 750mlThis bold blend captivates with 76% Merlot (Vogelzang Vineyard) and 24% Cabernet Sauvignon (Dierberg Star Lane Vineyard) showing a classy, distinct representation of its growing region. The wine offers red plum and dark berries, sagebrush, cracked pepper, and cigar box all interwoven seamlessly with a supple, lush, layered mouthfeel. Balancing freshness with structure and great depth of flavor, hints of pencil lead, incense, and vanilla bean coming from oak, aged 22 months in 100% French oak, 40% new oak.
- 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." W & S 90 POINTS
- Item #: i_220580Bottle Size: 750MLSelect lots of grapes are chosen from Ferrari Carano's vineyards in Sonoma County to create this beautifully-balanced and medium-bodied Merlot. This is a velvety Merlot with a complex nose of maple, cinnamon, and black cherry followed by an enticing mouthfeel with flavors of black plum compote, boysenberry, toast and vanilla. This wine has impressive length and a lasting, elegant finish.
- Item #: i_222890Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 96JEB DUNNUCK 96+ POINTS - "Aged 22 months in 65% new oak, the 2016 Epinette (46% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Petit Verdot) reveals a deep purple color as well a big blast of chocolate, ground herbs, blackberries, dried earth, and wood smoke. It's a powerful, seriously endowed, fleshy, ripe, and sexy Merlot to drink over the coming 10-15 years."
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 94 POINTS - "Winemaker Todd Alexander, who took over here in 2014 (he had previously served as winemaker for Bryant Family Estate in Napa Valley), told me that the estate's 2015s, from what he called "a very warm vintage," are bigger wines than the '16s, but that the latter wines are fresher and more energetic thanks to higher acidity and better balance. There was not a big difference between the two years in terms of vine yields."
"Dark full ruby. Violet lift to the aromas of blackberry, black raspberry, licorice, subtle peppery herbs and minerals. Wonderfully plush but youthfully unevolved, conveying a smoother texture and more class than the Cabernet, as well as a deeper kernel of primary fruit despite the fact that this is a Bordeaux blend and not a varietal Cabernet Sauvignon. A bit less thick and overwhelming than the Cabernet, and more complex and delineated. Finishes with big tongue- and tooth-saturating tannins that are a bit more suave than those of the Cabernet."
- 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_223800Bottle Size: 750mlWinery's Notes: "For our Dry Creek Valley Merlot, we crushed the Merlot grapes together with Petite Sirah to achieve dark fruit flavors and enhance the tannic structure in the wine. The grapes were cold soaked to extract vivid color and flavor. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation and was aged on fine lees to soften the mouthfeel. Our Merlot was aged for seven months in a combination of French and American oak barrels to impart notes of chocolate and vanilla in the finished wine."