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

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 Petrified Forest Merlot
$ 36.00

2012 Merlot
$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 11, 2012
Alcohol: 14.1%
Aging: Aged in the finest French oak barrels for 18 months.

2014 Napa Valley Merlot
$ 44.00

Gold Medal - 2016 SF Inter'l Wine Competition

 

Tasting Notes

Deep, dark red color with garnet tones. Blackcurrant and cherry aromas are beautifully integrated with earthy, chocolate notes. This wine is layered with juicy blackberry, cherry, espresso, and clove notes while remaining varietally correct with subtle tannins and a smooth, fruit-driven mouthfeel.

The Merlot expressed traditional red fruit notes with a touch of oakiness. The wine was fermented in a stainless steel tank and aged in 100% French oak barrels for 17 months. Blending took place in November 2015 where we added Cabernet Franc for its floral element, Petit Verdot for its earthiness, and Malbec for its dark fruit impact. After blending, the wine was returned to the barrels until bottling.

   

Vintage:           2015

Varietal:           Merlot (93%),  Cabernet Franc (5%), Malbec                              (1%), Petit Verdot (1%),

Appellation:    Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley

Alcohol %:       14.7

2014 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
$ 65.00

Silver Medal - 2017 SF Inter'l Wine Competition

 

Tasting Notes

The wine has a dark red color with inky purplish hue. An earthy complex nose with sweet oak, dried herb, black berries, black cherry, blackcurrant, and a touch of white pepper. On the palate, the wine is well-balanced with a silky and cohesive taste of black fruit including black cherry and blackcurrant with polished tannins and a trace of fennel in its long finish.

   

Vintage:           2014

Varietal:           Cabernet Sauvignon (Rutherford) (92%), Merlot                         (6%), Petit Verdot (2%)

Appellation:    Rutherford

Alcohol %:       14.7

2014 Testament Bordeaux Blend
$ 86.00

5% off of a purchase of 6-11 bottles

10% off the purchase of a case.
$1.00 shipping on all orders of 6 bottles or more to CA
$9.99 shipping on all orders of 6 bottles or more shipped outside of CA

Tasting Notes

Our 2014 Testament offers glorious aromas of fresh cut roses, blueberry, cassis, and blackberries. A silky creamy entry gives way to layers of complexity that unfold in the mid-palate with velvety tannins enrobing a center of concentrated black-fruit. Elegantly balanced, the acidity and core structure deliver an exhilarating finish with hints of dark chocolate.
Varietal: Bordeaux Blend 
Year: 2014
Vineyard: Cass Vineyard
AVA: Paso Robles Geneseo District 
Blend: 38% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petit Verdot, 17% Cabernet Franc14% Petit Verdot, and 8% Malbec 
Alcohol: 13.9%

Limited Production – 215 Cases

2015 Anthem Mt. Veeder Estate Merlot
$ 75.00

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

Our 2015 ultra-premium Cabernet-lovers Merlot opens with hints of rhubarb and spice on the nose, followed by sophisticated and plush dark fruits and smooth tannins, leaving lingering notes of white pepper and dark chocolate on the lengthy finish.  Ready to drink anytime between now and 2026.

50 Cases Produced

2015 Ascension Cellars Ascendance Cab/Merlot
$ 56.00

SILVER MEDAL - 2019 LA Int'l Wine Competition

SILVER MEDAL - 2019 Sunset Int'l Wine Competition

SILVER MEDAL - 88 Points - 2018 Orange County Wine Competition

 

Our fathomless Bordeaux-style blend was long aged, barrel fermented and hand racked for thirty months in 40% French oak barrels. It is luscious, sleek and complex with floral red currant and spice box aromas that lead to layered, concentrated flavors of black cherry, mocha, white pepper, sweet cinnamon and oak that jump from the glass. Velvety-soft, round tannins linger on the mid palate, producing a rich, elegant, dry finish. Enjoy now or be rewarded if allowed to cellar for 2 years or more.

2015 Ascendance is beautiful alone and compliments medium to sharp cheddar cheeses, roasted game hens, duck, pork, grilled steaks, prime rib, filet mignon, lamb and good friends.

Fill your glass with beauty and lift your spirits.

 

Composition: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon / 50% Merlot
Vineyard: Cass Vineyards
AVA: Geneseo District / Paso Robles AVA
Alchohol: 14%
Production: 145 cases produced

2015 Napa Valley Merlot
$ 44.00

Gold Medal - 2018 SF Chronicle Wine Competition

Gold Medal - 2018 Beverage Tasting Institute

 

Tasting Notes

Deep red color with garnet undertones. Ripe, fresh fruit on the nose with red cherries and blackcurrant, subtle vanilla spice oak and mocha/chocolate on the finish. A soft entry leads to lively tastes of black and red fruit with a toasty oak flavor. It is a well-balanced, food-friendly wine.

The Merlot expressed traditional red fruit notes with a touch of oakiness. The wine was fermented in a stainless steel tank and aged in 100% French oak barrels for 22 months. Blending took place in August 2017 where we added Petit Verdot for its earthiness and Cabernet Franc for its floral element.

   

Vintage:           2015

Varietal:           Merlot (93%), Petit Verdot (4%), Cabernet                               Franc (3%)

Appellation:    Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley

Alcohol %:       14.7

2015 Yorkville Highlands Cabernet Blend
$ 48.00

Tasting Notes

Mountain Cab that came from a friends vineyard - they almost didn’t have enough to share with Bee Hunter, but in a stroke of luck they were able to get their hands on a couple of barrels.  This wine is special to Ali as she thought when she arrived in Anderson Valley is was actually Alexander Valley. This wine was a way for her to still get her Cabernet experience, and Andy was happy to indulge. 

Cab - Merlot BlendStrong Cassis, slight kerosene, roasted green pepper, Mexican Chocolate, rich, earthy, soil, 

Appellation: Yorkville Highlands

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