Merlot

The Grape

One of the six Bordeaux grapes, Merlot is a dark skinned grape and one of the most popular red wine varietals. While most famous for its production in Bordeaux, Merlot is also widely grown in California, specifically Napa Valley, Sonoma, and the Central Coast, along with South America. Merlot grows in loose clusters of larger berries and has a medium tannin structure. Merlot has a naturally high sugar content and low acidity. Merlot grapes need to struggle to maintain their acidity and grow best in well-draining clay soil. Because of its thin skins, Merlot is susceptible to mildew, rot, and frost. 

The Wine

The flavor of Merlot depends greatly on where it was grown and the preference and style of the winemaker. When planted in a cold climate, Merlot has flavors of strawberry, and plum with hints of tobacco. When grown in a moderate climate, Merlot has bold flavors of blackberry, black cherry, and plum. When cultivated in a hot climate, flavors of dried fruit, chocolate and plum are more prominent.

When the fruit is harvested early, the wines have more acid and are produced with a more moderate alcohol level. The wine will have lighter fruit flavors such as raspberries and strawberries with a sometimes herbal characteristic. When the fruit is harvested late, the wine will be higher in alcohol content and very full bodied with deep rich flavors of blackberries, plums, and cherries.

Perfect Pairings

Because if its deep flavor and medium tannin structure, Merlot pairs well with Italian sausage, meatballs, hamburgers, chicken, tomato sauce, charcuterie, earthy flavors such as lamb or mushroom, pork chops, roast turkey, and ham. The higher alcohol of Merlot can bring out the capsaicin in spicy foods and is not a good match. When pairing with cheese, aged Gouda, Camembert, Toussaint, and Pecorino Toscano are good pairings.

Shop Merlot Wines

2010 Anthem Mt. Veeder Estate Merlot
$ 99.00

Wine Spectator - 93 Points

Second Highest Rated Merlot By Wine Spectator In 2010

$9.99 shipping on orders of 1-2 bottles. 
$0.01 shipping on all orders of 3 or more 

Anthem's inaugural vintage of Merlot is a Cab-lover's Merlot, and is an incredibly deep, intense wine. The 2010 Merlot's aromatics are dominated by plumbs, black berries, charcoal and dark chocolate. On the palate, there are red fruits (raspberries, red cherries) as well as melted fudge, roasted meats and licorice that tail off into a smooth and amazingly long finish. Although it is hard to imagine a better Merlot, this wine will age and improve beautifully for at least another 5-7 years and pairs well with any pasta or meat dish. Grown on Mount Veeder. Drink now through 2019. 

125 Cases Produced

2011 Petrified Forest Merlot
$ 36.00

2011 Merlot--Silver--2014 SF Chronicle Wine Competition
$10 Shipping On Bottles 1-3 
$0.01 Shipping On Bottles 4-12

Tasting Notes

"Smooth and elegant with red fruit notes of dried cranberry, raspberry, and strawberry jam.  Framing the mouthwatering fruit are toasty oak notes of chocolate and caramel.  This compelling and nuanced wine has great balance now and is sure to please for years to come."  Leigh Meyering, winemaker (January, 2014)

Varietal: 100% Merlot 
Appellation: Knights Valley
Harvest Date: October 13, 2011
Alcohol: 14.1%
Aging: Aged in the finest French oak barrels for 18 months.
Released: September 1, 201

2012 Humanitas Merlot Truchard
$ 50.00

Any who dare discount the noble Merlot, need not drink here! We love Merlot for its finesse, its mystery, its grace and power. We love the Truchard vineyard where these grapes are grown. This sweet spot, resting on a south facing hillside hidden far away from the road and passers-by provides just the sort of cool evenings and long, warm days that Merlot favors. Soft, sweet, juicy aromas of blueberry, pepper and fig bound from the glass making way for soft black cherry, tobacco leaf and cola on the palate. The ecstasy of its long, complicated finish calls for a dreamy, dramatic aria - Caro Mio Ben perhaps? - and if you can play it on vinyl, even better.

Composition: 99% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot
Appellation: Napa Carneros
Aging: 20 months in French and American oak
Alcohol: 14.1% abv
Harvest Date: October 18, 2012

2012 Petrified Forest Merlot
$ 36.00

2011 Merlot--Silver--2014 SF Chronicle Wine Competition
$10 Shipping On Bottles 1-3 
$0.01 Shipping On Bottles 4-12

Tasting Notes

"Smooth and elegant with red fruit notes of dried cranberry, raspberry, and strawberry jam.  Framing the mouthwatering fruit are toasty oak notes of chocolate and caramel.  This compelling and nuanced wine has great balance now and is sure to please for years to come."  Leigh Meyering, winemaker (January, 2014)

Varietal: 100% Merlot 
Appellation: Knights Valley
Harvest Date: October 13, 2011
Alcohol: 14.1%
Aging: Aged in the finest French oak barrels for 18 months.
Released: September 1, 201

Counter Punch 2012 Merlot
Starting at: $ 40.50

5% discount on purchases of 6-11 bottles
10% discount on purchases of a case

Harvest Information 

The grapes for the 2012 Counter Punch Merlot were hand-harvested on September 28, 2012 from the Los Carneros AVA of Napa Valley at 24.0 Brix. "Classic" and "Perfect" are just two accolades being bestowed upon the 2012 Napa Valley growing season and harvest. Textbook conditions saw near-ideal spring bud break, steady flowering, even fruit set, and a lengthy stretch of warm days and cool and often foggy nights during the long summer months. Late and light rains held off until the grapes found optimal ripeness, bringing exceptional quality to the crush pad and into the cellar. 

Winemaking Information

The fruit arrived at the winery in small 1/2 ton bins where destemming and hand-sorting occurred. Fermentation proceeded in a small bin for eight days. The free-run was transferred directly into neutral barrels for settling. After settling, the young wine was racked from the neutral barrels into new American oak barrels (from trees grown in Minnesota) where it aged for an additional year. The wine was polish filtered and bottled in April 2014. 

Production Limited To 50 Cases