2015 Trecini Merlot, Russian River Valley, California, USA$25.00
The 2015 Trecini Merlot comes from the Dunn Vineyard, which sits in the low-lying eastern foothills of Sonoma County in a slightly warmer region of the Russian River Valley. The vines grow in well drained gravely soils on a westerly facing slope which allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and capture the last bit of the sun’s afternoon warmth, an essential factor in this much cooler vintage. Memorable, the Merlot brings a richer mouth-feel, with a rich velvet texture. The lower alcohol allows for these deeper complex textures and dimensions to come together and produce a distinctive classic Merlot more reminiscent of Europe than California. Trecini Merlot shows off delicious red fruit characters, with some whiffs of dried herbs and a touch of tobacco. Suitable for drinking now, we believe that this wine has enough natural acidity and structure to be consumed for several years to come.
Duckhorn Decoy Red Wine 2016, Sonoma County$28.00
Since the inaugural vintage of the Decoy Napa Valley Red Wine more than a quarter century ago, Decoy has taken an important place in the Duckhorn Wine Company family of wines. With a reputation for delivering great quality at a remarkable price, Decoy has established a loyal following for its distinctive style, which emphasizes ready-upon-release wines that are capable of expressing their full charm and complexity in their youth. After several years of working with its sought-after grapes, they acquire the renowned Ridgeline Vineyard in the Alexander Valley appellation—Sonoma County’s best region for growing Bordeaux varietals. Located on Oak Mountain, Ridgeline Vineyard is a steep mountainside vineyard with elevations ranging from 100 to nearly 2,000 feet.
The core blend for this appealing Decoy Red Wine 2016 pairs the elegance of Merlot with the complexity of Cabernet Sauvignon. Reflecting the character of each growing season and the diversity of our vineyard sources, Decoy has established itself as a wine of distinction. Rich and concentrated, this wine reveals voluptuous layers of blueberry, cassis and dark chocolate. On the palate, hints of salted caramel and exotic spices add depth and complexity to the fresh fruit flavors, while carrying the wine to a long and silky finish. 51% Merlot, 23% Zinfandel, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petite Sirah, 2% Petit Verdot.
Duckhorn Merlot 2015, Napa Valley$59.00
This wine displays all of the benefits of slow, even ripening during a mild growing season. Though there is fullness and a lush character to this Merlot, there is also restraint and elegance. Promising aromas of cherry, red plum, raspberry, and dried herbs lead to a clean fresh entry with impeccably balanced acidity supporting intense red fruit flavors of cranberry, plum and raspberry. Round, supple tannins provide an enticing framework for the flavors and contribute to a lingering finish. 90 Points Wine Spectator
Gaja Ca’ Marcanda Promis 2015$66.00
The proprietary name Promis (pronounced proh-MEESS) was created by the Gaja family to denote commitment, expectation, fulfillment, and hope. The promise of quality and the reward of diligence and excellence. The grapes are grown in the terre brune (rich, dark soils) which consist primarily of loam and clay. The 2015 was a fulfilling vintage. Embracing, structured, voluptuous, and lively. The climate – hot summer days, freshened by brisk sea air and cool nights – is ideal for the grapes grown here. Promis offers the elegance and suppleness of Merlot and Syrah, complemented by the vibrant structure of Sangiovese, Tuscany’s emblematic grape. This wine drinks well at an early age. The 2015 Promis opens with floral aromas of wild rose and violet, then it turns into a more earthy bouquet with hints of maritime pine, eucalyptus, roots, wet stones. The palate is fresh and juicy, with notes of red and black fruits – raspberry, wild strawberry and mulberry. Creamy, smooth tannins. The final is sapid with a peculiar smoky and spicy character. With its notes of rosemary, wild fennel, embers, the 2015 Promis perfectly mirrors the Mediterranean scrubland which surrounds it. 55% Merlot, 35% Syrah, 10% Sangiovese So delicious!
L’Ecole No. 41 Frenchtown 2015$26.00
Frenchtown, Walla Walla Valley’s first settlement, was founded by French Canadians in the early 1800s. A thriving viticulture and wine making community was established in the Valley by the 1860s. This Frenchtown wine salutes these pioneers. The 2015 vintage was one of the warmest vintages for Washington, rivaling 2003 and 1998, with slightly lower yields due to smaller berry size. The L'Ecole No. 41 Frenchtown 2015 shows aromas of wild berries, fresh plum, black currant and baking spice. The generous dark fruit flavors stay bright and focused through an integrated finish. 45% Merlot 15% Syrah 18% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% Grenache 6% Malbec 3% Mourvèdre 6% Cabernet Franc.
Longboard Vineyards Merlot 2015, Dakine Vineyard, Russian River Valley$30.00
From the Estate Vineyard on Westside Road in the Russian River Valley, this wonderful Merlot is field-blended with 13% Malbec. Great with any meal that has a nice spice or heat to it, this is a crowd favorite and a wine that rekindles our love affair with this variety.
Paradigm Merlot 2014, Oakville$53.00
Made by famed winemaker, Heidi Barrett, the 2014 Merlot is medium dark ruby in color with clean aromatics of ripe plums and cherries layered with light touches of spice and sweet French Oak notes. The nose is amazing. Soft across the palate yet
flavors are explosive and exciting. Ripe jammy fruit with a very silky texture and mouthfeel. The tannins are quite moderate in this beautiful Oakville Merlot. We love the balance here between the acidity, fruit, and oak. Nice length too. Flavors persist for several minutes.
94% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignont
Rabble Merlot 2015$25.00
As one of the newer additions to the Rabble (Force of Nature) wines, the Rabble Merlot 2015 comes from the Mossfire Ranch Vineyard in Paso Robles and is 100% Merlot,”The Die is Cast,” reads the blade of the fallen Goddess Medusa. The game is on and Merlot is back. Rabble Merlot is a throwback, delivering full bodied, luscious dark bruised berries and cassis. The rich berries give a tremendous amount of density on the palate that continues and lingers with long and decidant tannin. A throw back Merlot. Powerful and seductive in color and body. Dusty notes with rich fruit. Chalky tannins and composed sructure.
Rabble Red Blend 2015$24.00
The Rabble Red Blend 2015 comes from the Mossfire Ranch Vineyard in Paso Robles. Aged in French oak, it is made up of 90% Merlot and 10% Syrah. Brooding purple with dark rimmed color. The nose blooms first with red cherry, ripe plum to dark raspberry with hints of anise seed and ending dusty suede. The palate is explosive, lush ripe fruits give way to supple tannin, layers of dark and bright berries with balanced acidity and firm yet restrained structure. The strong finish lingers of black tea and plum.
Selene Merlot 2014, Frediani Vineyard, Napa,CA$36.00
Winemaker, Mia Klein says, “I haven’t doted over a Merlot like this since the 2008. A winemaker’s pet, if you will.” Blackberry syrup, Black Forest cake, complete with dark chocolate, black cherries, and cream; also some caramel/molasses and buttery cinnamon toast. In the mouth there is very good impact and intensity; the wine is even-tempered, with balanced tannins and acid, and finishing with fine texture and length. 424 cases produced
Sineann Merlot 2014, Champoux Vineyard, Columbia Valley, WA$44.00
Champoux — what else do you need to know? From the top-notch vineyard site comes this intense Merlot that is dark and powerful, complex and voluptuous. Dark, rich – to the point of voluptuous – powerful. This is what Merlot can be. Huge black cherry nose with graham, toast, and a hint of smoke. Sweet black cherry/plum flavors, accented by touches of plum liqueur, Chambord, toast, smoke, and pepper. Tannins are present, with a very slight grip. The finish, surprisingly for such a huge wine, has good acidity to balance the gobs of fruit. Sineann’s style is dark, aromatic with chocolate overtones and complex, silky tannins. A big, plush juicy wine. Paul Gregutt, Seattle Times, says: “…wraps its super-ripe cherry/berry fruit in rich layers of coffee, toffee and smoke.”
You don’t know what it wants and you’ve underestimated its character. But you can feel it watching your every move. A cunning presence lingers, like a thorn in your side. It isn’t going anywhere.
While working with their growers in Napa Valley, The Prisoner team came across small, premium vineyard lots of Merlot, which served as their inspiration to create Thorn 2014. The Merlot was blended with Syrah to create depth in the body while Malbec accentuates the fruit. Earthy aromas open up into cocoa, blackberry, cedar, and anise. The entry is smooth with flavors of cherry, chocolate, vanilla, and a mild toastiness. The finish is long with balanced acidity. 77% Merlot; 23% Blend of Malbec and Syrah.