A fantastic top Napa Merlot from Arietta and former Screaming Eagle winemaker Andy Erickson. Limited.
93+ Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "Deep purple-black in color, the 2016 Merlot has a captivating nose of crushed red and black plums, Black Forest cake and underbrush with hints of spice cake and dried mint. Full-bodied, plushly textured and packed with warm black fruits and baking spices in the mouth, it has a long peppery finish."
93+ Robert Parker: "Deep purple-black in color, the Arietta Merlot has a captivating nose of crushed red and black plums, Black Forest cake and underbrush with hints of spice cake and dried mint. Full-bodied, plushly textured and packed with warm black fruits and baking spices in the mouth, it has a long peppery finish."
A Napa Valley Classic!
Consistently one of Napa Valley's classiest merlots, the Cakebread Merlot is an especially rich example of the variety. Delicious now, this lavishly flavored, complex Merlot will benefit from another 3-5 years' cellaring.
The Cakebread Cellars Merlot Napa Valley, blended with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon, is an especially rich example of the variety. It displays ripe blackberry and black plum aromas with secondary scents of vanilla and dark coffee characteristics. Lush and full-bodied, showcasing luscious blackberry, plum and boysenberry flavors that segue into a long finish featuring spiciness, elegant, refined tannins, and crisp underlying acidity. The grapes for the Merlot come from two classic Napa Valley regions: the cool-climate Carneros district in the southern valley, which delivers bright fruit with crisp acidity, and the mid-valley region, whose warmer temperatures produce riper, richer fruit with juicy berry and plum flavor
Duckhorn Merlot is one of California's most popular Merlots - get the new release while it's still available.
92 Points Wine Spectator: "Outstanding;a wine of superior character and style
Plush and rich-tasting, with finely interwoven flavors of dark cherry, plum tart and blackberry accented by cocoa powder notes.”
The Duckhorn 2018 Napa Valley Merlot is one of the finest Merlots we've ever tasted. Blended to offer the complexity and balance of a young wine, while embodying the diversity of the whole Napa Valley appellation. This wine is medium-bodied and balanced with a smooth entry, integrated soft tannins, and a long finish. The aroma is lifted with raspberry, red currant, blueberry, cherry cola, and delicate spice. The flavors are polished with blackberry, plum, black cherry, toast, and a hint of herb. If you are a die-hard Cabernet lover this is a Merlot for you.
New release of Duckhorn's Three Palms Vineyard Merlot, one of the finest reds in California. Limited.
Wine Spectator #1 Wine in the World 2017 (2014 vintage)
previous vintage 96 Points Wine Spectator: "Powerful, rich and complex, with a refined mix of currant, dark cherry and plum tart flavors backed by suave, medium-grained tannins. Well-defined slate and loamy notes stretch out nicely on the finish, with black olive hints. Drink now through 2027."
A sumptuous incarnation of Three Palms Vineyard Merlot, this mouth-filling and age-worthy wine displays suppleness, balance and structure, with seamless integration between lush fruit and new French oak. The aroma offers layered elements of fresh baked cherry pie, red licorice, and vanilla bean. On the palate, juicy boysenberry and blackberry layers intermingle with notes of strawberry, cherry, orange rind, and cinnamon spice, accented by earth tones and subtle oak.
New! 95 Points
New Merlot from the folks at Caymus! Jenny Wagner, daughter of Caymus' Chuck Wagner, has introduced this outstanding Merlot from her new label Emmolo. One of the best Napa Valley Merlots we've discovered this year.
95 Points Brix26: "This is going to surprise you by being bigger than many Cabs in your cellar. This well-balanced and darkly colored wine evokes the scents of saddle leather, coffee and plum, with traces of smokiness amidst its rich fruit. Smooth with ripe flavors of plums, prunes and cocoa, balanced by acidity and a grippy tannin character. Fantastic.".
Jenny Wagner, Winemaker: "My goal for this wine was to create a well-balanced Merlot with superbly rich fruit,soft tannins and dark color. This first release exhibits aromas of mahogany smoke,leather and brown spice, while earthy flavors intertwine with caramelized plum and smooth tannins reminiscent of ground cocoa."
Kathryn and Craig Hall are making some of Napa Valley's best wines in their state-of-the-art winery amid the legendary Sacrashe Vineyard in the hills of Rutherford. The Merlot is the sleeper of the vintage!
An expressive duet from two of our premier estate vineyards. Merlot from our Hardester Ranch is planted in limiting soils on a hillside enclave to promote intensely concentrated small berries with tremendous structure and backbone. The cool valley-floor fruit of Napa River Ranch endows generous red fruit and a velvety texture. Anticipate an alluring nose of Bing cherry, violets, cocoa and baking spice which unrolls seamlessly on the tongue to a rich, elegant mid-palate. Expressive flavors of dark cherry, toasted oak and blackberry jam will continue to evolve for the next 5-7 years.
93 Points Wine Enthusiast - 'Editors’ Choice': “A rich, dense, vital Merlot, one of the best of the vintage. Offers loads of cherry, green olive, roasted meat and pepper flavors, wrapped into firm tannins leading to a distinguished finish. Dry and elegant, it’s a beautiful wine to decant and drink soon with steak, chops, lamb.”
Well-known winemaker Bob Foley has been the consistent force behind these high quality wines from Hourglass. Extremely limited.
94 Points Robert Parker: "A barrel sample blend of 86% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Merlot Blueline Estate has a very pretty perfume of candied violets, kirsch, warm black plums and star anise with hints of tobacco leaf and fallen leaves. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is so wonderfully juicy, plush and laden with exotic spices, possessing great freshness to boot, finishing long and perfumed...
...Tony Biagi, the winemaker at Hourglass, is one of my favorite personalities in the valley. I met him years ago when he was the winemaker at Plumpjack. He is now handling both Hourglass estates, which is somewhat confusing to the consumer, in that there is actually a Blueline Estate that is a 20-acre vineyard across from the Three Palms Duckhorn Merlot Vineyard and not far from the Switchback Vineyards. The other, the Hourglass Estate, is a little more than a dozen acres situated near Colgin’s Tychson Hill Vineyard off Route 29 north of St. Helena. It is important to note in the reviews that follow whether they contain the Hourglass Estate or the Blueline Estate designations."
Exclusive new Merlot release from one of Napa Valley's finest producers, Lewis Cellars.
94 Points Wine Spectator: "Powerfully structured and lusciously spiced, with firm tannins and acidity supporting the dark plum, cherry pastry and mocha flavors that are broad and rich-tasting. Creamy midpalate, with a long finish filled with savory chocolate accents. Drink now through 2026
Boysenberry, baker’s chocolate and black truffle suffused with sterling rose and lifted floral sweetness, the Lewis Cellars 2019 Merlot is rapturous. Juicy and aromatic with a touch of briar and native acidity the wine is fine-limbed, fragrant, and fresh through the finish.
95 Point stunner from Washington
A stunning red from Washington State. Limited.
95 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "Beautiful cassis, chocolate, leafy herbs, and earth all emerge from the 2017 Pedestal, a ripe, sexy, opulent wine that does everything right. A blend put together by Michel Rolland and aged 22 months in 86% new French oak, it's beautiful today yet is going to cruise in cool cellars for 15 years or more."
previous vintage 95 Points Robert Parker: "I loved the Pedestal Merlot and it’s 81% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot. It offers a downright voluptuous and incredibly sexy style in its ripe blackcurrants, toasted spice, chocolate and licorice aromas and flavors. Broad, expansive, layered and pleasure bent, with ripe tannin, it's a knockout Merlot that's going to have 10-15 years of drinkability...This estate has hit pay dirt with their 2013s and 2014s, and the quality here continues to skyrocket. While they bring in a who's who list of top winemakers for these cuvees, the day to day winemaking is handled by Gilles Nicault, who's an unquestionably terrific winemaker in his own right."
From international wine consultant Michel Rolland and Washington State wine visionary Allen Shoup, this limited release Merlot has been a regular top-scoring favorite of critic Robert Parker.
Pahlmeyer Merlot Napa Valley is one of the finest Merlots produced in California. Highly collectible. Very limited.
96 Points Robert Parker: "There are few truly profound Merlots being made in California, but Pahlmeyer has consistently made some of the best. Very deep purple-black in color, the 2016 Merlot has a blockbuster nose of crushed blackberries, warm black plums, violets, cracked pepper and vanilla pod with hints of dark chocolate, licorice and bay leaves. Full-bodied, rich, concentrated and with firm, velvety tannins, the palate is a hedonist’s playground with a spicy finish that just goes on and on. The very talented winemaker from Pahlmeyer’s sister winery in Sonoma—Bibiana Gonzalez Rave of Wayfarer—has recently been appointed as Chief Winemaker at Pahlmeyer. 2016 was her first vintage here."
94 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "Mostly estate fruit, the 2016 Merlot spent 22 months in primarily new French oak. Black cherries, smoked earth, graphite, dark chocolate, and licorice notes all emerge from this rich, full-bodied, concentrated Merlot that has subtle background oak but displays a supple, seamless balance style that’s a joy to drink."
Extremely limited Paloma 2017 Merlot. Get the new vintage before the ratings come out! This tiny winery on Spring Mountain rocketed from obscurity to collector status overnight when the 2001 vintage was chosen as Wine Spectator's 'No. 1 Wine in the World' and ever since has been hard to get.
94 Points Brix26: "The Merlot is once again a blend of Estate Merlot and Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. The resulting wine is a big, world-class red wine capable of improving with bottle aging for 10 to 15 years. Complex aromas of black berry fruits, black stone fruits, chocolate, tobacco, spice and floral notes with a mineral overtone. On the palate the wine has a big silky mouth feel, well balanced, with flavors of berries, fruit, cocoa, cassis, and spice, and a long spicy finish."
The Paloma 2017 vintage is 84% Merlot and 16% Cabernet, all estate grown, and it's even more gorgeous than years past. It is a big, world-class red wine capable of improving with bottle age for many years. Complex aromas of black berry fruits, chocolate, tobacco, spice and floral notes with mineral overtone. On the palate the wine has a big silky mouth feel, well balanced with flavors of berries, fruit, cocoa, and spice, with a long spicy, velvety finish.
Wine Spectator #1 Wine in the World in 2001.
New release of Heid Barrett's Paradigm Merlot Napa Valley!
Heidi Barrett is well-known as the winemaker for Screaming Eagle, but Paradigm is her secret sleeper label from Oakville in Napa Valley. Wonderful Merlot from the heart of Napa Valley. Only 830 cases made.
Heidi Barrett: "A Beautiful deep ruby red color with an enticing aroma profile that is wide open and exciting. Layers of ripe Merlot plum-like fruit with almost sweet aromas of toast, French Oak, caramel corn, and cardamom spice. Broad, silky, and mouth coating this is one of our best Merlot’s to date. It has soft balance but still lively with a long flavor profile. Tannins are refined and easy on the palate. This is a delicious Merlot immensely enjoyable upon release but will prove to be age worthy as well."
A fantastic value in Napa Valley Merlot.
From the folks that brought you Twenty Bench Cabernet and owners of Napa Valley's Regusci Winery, the trio of Jim Gill, James Harder and Jim Regusci are proud to introduce Parcel 41 Merlot North Coast and they are going to change the way you think about Merlot. "Merlot is a grape that is very expressive of the terroir," says partner Jim Regusci. "It has to be planted in the right location and when it is, it can be every bit as complex and flavorful as Cabernet."
New release of Plumpjack's Oakville Estate Merlot - limited.
95 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The Merlot is aromatically expressive and dense, a combination that is hugely appealing. Sage, mint, licorice, chocolate, lavender and black cherry jam run through this large-scaled, beautifully resonant Merlot. The interplay of elements here is really quite striking. There is quite a bit to look forward to. A dollop of Malbec rounds out the blend."
92 Points Robert Parker: "Containing a 4% splash of Malbec, the deep purple-black colored 2016 Merlot opens with notions of chocolate-covered cherries, plum preserves, spice cake and black pepper with hints of garrigue and wild sage. Full-bodied and boldly fruited in the mouth, the juicy black fruit is well framed by rounded tannins and oodles of freshness, finishing long and spicy."
New Merlot release from legendary Pride Mountain Winery. One of the finest Merlots made in California. Limited.
93 Robert Parker: "Containing 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, the deep garnet-purple colored Pride Merlot offers up pronounced notes of plum preserves, baked blackberries and black forest cake with suggestions of baking spices, licorice and dark chocolate. Full bodied, rich and velvety textured, the palate is laden with dark fruit and spice layers, beautifully defined by a refreshing line, finishing with great persistence....This beautiful estate, which sits on the top of Spring Mountain straddling both the Napa and Sonoma County lines, continues to turn out a super-impressive lineup of wines."
New release alert! Prisoner's Thorn Merlot is a fantastic wine sourced from the Hudson and Stagecoach Vineyards and over-delivers big time. Limited.
Tasting Notes: Deep purple in color, releasing aromas of black cherry with hints of cedar and pencil lead. Dense flavors of dark fruits and rich plum are framed by velvety tannins and a lush finish.
While working with their growers, the winery came across small vineyard lots of Merlot which had managed to survive being replanted to Cabernet Sauvignon. Inspired to preserve these remaining Merlot lots and introduce their distinct style of Napa Valley Merlot, Thorn was created. The wine is a blend of Merlot, along with Syrah and Malbec. . Thorn is sourced from acclaimed vineyard sites throughout the Napa Valley. The family of small vineyards, offers vines of varying ages and regionality, lending to the layers of character and complexity.
New release of Rombauer Merlot!
Enticing and lively red color; beautifully aromatic with black cherry and ripe plum. On the palate a purity of blackcurrant, cedar and mint flavors blend together seamlessly. Soft and supple, this wine has a medium-bodied mouth-feel with plush tannins that integrate with the generous finish. The Carneros region with its climate and clay soils allows us to produce a Merlot which is true to the varietal’s characteristics. The longer growing season allows the fruit to reach maturity slowly, giving us fruit which is soft and elegant, yet rich and full flavored.