Merlot is the most widely planted red grape in Bordeaux and is responsible for some of the greatest Right Bank Bordeaux wines like Petrus, Ausone, and Cheval Blanc. Merlot is often described as soft and velvety, but it can actually display moderate amounts of tannin and sometimes high alcohol. Merlot can be challenging to grow because it ripens early and buds early. It rewards considerable attention in the vineyard and grows well on the Right Bank in Bordeaux, Washington State, California and Chile. Taste: Blueberry, mint, cigar box, cherry, chocolate, vanilla, plum, coffee, spice.
"90 pts WA - The outstanding 2012 Merlot is composed of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 18 months in 40% new French oak. There are 5,350 cases. It exhibits a classic Merlot bouquet of coffee beans, white chocolate, mocha, black cherries and plums. This lush, heady, sexy, medium to full-bodied Merlot can be consumed over the next 7-8 years."
"Organically Grown! Rich cherry and currant aromas with hints of cola , berry, oak-spice, and vanilla. In the mouth, balance & softness are apparent, yet with ripe tannins, rich cherry & currant flavors are highlighted."
"90 Points Wine Enthusiast This Merlot is round, soft and mellow, with ripe, luscious flavors of cherry pie, mocha, honey and toasty oak, along with a hint of spice. Considering the large production of 36,000 cases and the price, it's quite an achievement."
"A waft of Nilla Wafer opens the bouquet of this light, well-composed wine, followed by fruity notes of lemon and orange, a floral component at its core. Zingy, it remains balanced in the glass, lightweight with plenty of fruit."
"This is a well-made, larger-production offering of the variety that's appealingly round, soft and juicy, with a luxuriousness to the texture on the palate, generously surrounded in a big-bodied style of black cherry and vanilla."
"Harvested and crafted with care in Napa Valley's Rutherford area, this is as good an argument for drinking Merlot as any we've encountered. Like a classic Bordeaux, this is perfectly ageworthy, but right now it's showing lovely ripe blackberry and cherry flavors, great balance, and a clean finish."
"The Merlot opens with lush, red fruit aromas followed by intense flavors of plums and black cherries. Smoky and vanilla oak nuances are paired with soft tannins leading to a smooth, concentrated finish. This wine pairs well with braised lamb shank, porktenderloin and beef and chicken fajitas."
"Medium-bodied, silky Merlot with plum and mocha notes, soft tannins and a balanced, luscious finish."
"Soft berry, cherry, and chocolate flavors. Cherry, berry, chocolate, olive bouquets with violets & cedar highlight layers of intense aromas enveloped in vanillin oak."
"A sensory overload of ripe fruits and savory garden herbs that overwhelms the nose. Summer plums and sweet cherries create a full entry and even bigger mouthfeel than lingers and languishes with the toasty vanilla from the American oak barrels. Remaining silky and smooth in texture, the wine finishes with sturdy tannins."