- Item #: i_201230Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO 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: 750MLBlackbird 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.
A blend of 38% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 30% Cabernet Franc, , the 2014 Arise entices with aromas of black currant, freshly-picked summer blackberries, cedar stick, and roasted clove. With flavors of licorice, pipe tobacco, Bing cherry, and nutty fig, this wine has a richly layered mid-palate that is complimented by soft texture, good density, and a long, lingering finish.
- Item #: i_241510Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92Do you want to get a real glimpse into the characteristics and style of the 2009 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 58% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot.
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 92 POINTS - "Very few Washington wineries can match DeLille for the way their wines combine sheer fruit intensity and structure. The current releases are wonderfully pliant and accessible, even if the best of them will last splendidly."
"(this Columbia Valley blend of nearly 20 sources represents 35% of this winery's production; 11,500 cases were made in 2014): Bright ruby. Pungent fruit-driven aromas of cranberry, pomegranate and blackberry. Plush and seamless on the palate, with blackberry and blueberry flavors complicated by a savory dried-berry note that I associate with Red Willow vineyard. Wonderfully pliant from the start, this beauty finishes very long and suave, with utterly smooth tannins. Great fruit here!"
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The ruby-colored 2014 D2 Proprietary Red Wine is the entry-level Bordeaux blend of the estate and is named after the D2 highway in Bordeaux. It's a soft, voluptuous, medium-bodied effort that offers loads of currants, black cherries, strawberries and leafy herb aromas and flavors. It's already hard to resist, yet there's quality tannin hiding under its fruit, and I suspect it will surprise you with its longevity."
- Item #: i_232430Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Vinous Media: 94ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - "This Ballard Canyon estate pulls from estate vineyards, and the wines are made by Matt Dees, who's unquestionably one of the most talented winemakers in the central coast. The 2014s are all gorgeous wines that shows the more structured, age-worthy side to the vintage (which is the MO at this estate) and will benefit from short term cellaring."
"Composed of 54% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, the 2014 Fenix has a medium garnet-purple color and nose of crushed black plums, blackberry compote and mulberries with hints of Chinese five spice, garrigue, rare beef and dried Mediterranean herbs. The medium-bodied palate struts a lot of showy black fruit and spicy layers, with velvety tannins and lovely freshness paving the long finish."
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2014 Fenix, Jonata's Merlot-based blend is round, supple and inviting. Dark wild cherry, plum, smoke, tobacco, licorice and dark spice notes infuse this creamy voluptuous red. The tannins need time to soften, but there is plenty to look forward to. Like all of the 2014s, the Fenix carries with it the struggle of a drought vintage."
- Item #: i_240530Bottle Size: 750MLDeep ruby red in color, the aromas are of dried blueberries, dried cranberries, black plums, and cassis notes. Bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder comingling with hints of black cardamom. Salty black licorice, green pepercorns, and roasted coffee beans intermix with black slate, graphite, vibrant acidity, seamless tannins and a long finish.
- 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_256620Bottle Size: 750mlWhen Robert Foley was the winemaker for Pride Mountain on Spring Mountain, he was known for crafting Merlot for Cabernet drinkers. So it should come as no surprise that his own Merlot can be described in the same manner! At a recent trade tasting, all the Robert Foley wines were stunning...but it was the complexity and intensity of his Merlot that really caught us off guard. Was it really the Merlot we were drinking, and not the Cabernet? Yes, Merlot really can be one of the great wines in your life! Combining fruit from Foley's Howell Mountain estate with fruit from the valley floor, the wine's dark ruby color introduces a ripe medley of blueberry/ blackberry pie aromas. The mid-palate floods with ripe berry flavors that then introduce mocha, vanilla and espresso nuances that linger through the finish. Even if you think you don't like Merlot, reserve judgment until you've tried this one!
- Item #: i_256675Bottle Size: 375mlJeb Dunnuck: 92 Points**Please note, this is a half sized bottleJEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "The 2014 Merlot kicks off the Bordeaux varieties with a bang and offers full-bodied, ripe, sexy aromas and flavors of black cherries, chocolate, graphite, and spice. A wine that builds with time in the glass, it has no hard edges, terrific purity, and a great finish. Drink it over the coming decade."
- Item #: i_257640Bottle Size: 750mlAlong California's Central Coast, the Paso Robles appellation of San Luis Obispo County provides an ideal climate for growing Merlot. A dry climate with warm days allows for complete maturation of the grapes and creates ripe fruit flavors. The maritime influence of the Pacific Ocean creates very cool nights, which preserve the natural acid balance of the grapes.
San Simeon Merlot expresses rich flavors of blackberry and cassis. Aromas of black fruit greet the nose, while barrel-afing contributes nuances of brown sugar and oak spcies. Well-integrated tannins offer texture and a plush mouthfeel. A small percentage of Petit Verdot was added for additional complexity.
- Item #: i_275260Bottle Size: 750mlThis wine is drawn from the original Merlot blocks at Seven Hills Vineyard that Casey McClellan planted with her father in the summer of 1982. 2014 marks the 27th vintage she has made Merlot from these same vines. This vintage exhibits a beautiful, dark ruby color and enticing aromas of black cherry, bramble berries, cocoa, cedar, and rose petals. The palate is supple and generous with loads of red and black fruits accentuated with vanilla and spice and finishing with both supple fruit and firm, spicy tannins. While drinking well at release, it will improve considerably with a few years of bottle age and should cellar well for up to ten years from vintage.
- Item #: i_265450Bottle Size: 750mlApproachable and rich, the 2014 Stewart Napa Valley Merlot boasts a bouquet of rose petals and milk chocolate which leads into a palate of lush cherry, plum, and wild raspberry. It has nicely balanced acidity and tannins giving a long, soft finish. The wine’s luxurious and refined texture make it wonderful to pair with food.
- Item #: i_268130Bottle Size: 750mlSwitchback 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_278665Bottle Size: 750MLWINERY NOTES:-"Our single vineyard wine from the Napa Valley. Slightly opaque scarlet red with aroms of black cherry, roasted meat, wet soil, raspberry jam, mocha, loose pipe tobacco, dried blueberry and brioche. Velvet entry, structured mid-palate, mouthwatering, bright cherry, blackberry, vanilla flavors and an enticing texture. Nicely integrated tannins, elegant, juicy with a long finish and return."
- 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."