Bend Merlot 2015


88

Bend Merlot 2015
California

Tasting Notes: This wine launches with big flavors of plum and black cherry. The lush fruits are balanced with a long and smooth finish. This is the perfect wine for buyers looking for outstanding value without a hefty price.

Beyer Ranch Merlot Central Coast 2013


89

Beyer Ranch Merlot 2013
California

Tasting Notes: Perfectly balanced merlot. This wine features classic varietal character. Flavors of black cherry, plum, blackberry, leading to a soft finish with subtle tannins.

Northstar Merlot 2012


94

Northstar Merlot 2012
Washington

Tasting Notes: The epitome of great Washington merlot. Dark cherry and vanilla flavors work so nice together in this wine. The perfect balance of oak makes the finish long and memorable. Big, bold and built to last. Lay this wine down to enjoy for years to come.

Northstar Merlot 2012


94

Northstar Merlot 2012
Washington

Tasting Notes: The epitome of great Washington Merlot. Dark cherry and vanilla flavors work so nice together. The perfect balance of oak makes the finish long and memorable. Big, bold and built to last. Lay this wine down to enjoy for years to come.

Matthiason Red Hen Vineyard Merlot 2011


94

Matthiason Red Hen Vineyard Merlot 2011
California

Tasting Notes: A complex and fascinating wine that walks the line between new and old world. It has a cool, finessed character wherein red currant, bing cherries, graphite, espresso bean and cacao nibs are on display. Incredibly pure. For my taste, this is best Cali Merlot I can recall.

B.R. Cohn Merlot Petricka Vineyard Merlot 2013


94

B.R. Cohn Merlot Petricka Vineyard Merlot 2013
California

Tasting Notes: A single-vineyard, single-variety Merlot. No blending involved. Dark ruby in the glass, the nose is dominated by dark fruit, with plenty of black cherry and boysenberry. The palate is very similar, with fine tannins and an attractive finish.

Frog’s Leap Merlot 2012


94

Frog’s Leap Merlot 2012
California

Tasting Notes: An elegant, superb Merlot. Full-bodied dark fruit with hints of plum and raspberry. Complex and balanced, with perfectly integrated tannins, make this one delicious drink.

Maison Nicolas Merlot 2015


95

Maison Nicolas Merlot 2015
France

Tasting Notes: Maison Nicolas has long been famous for importing excellent French wines that represent great quality and value. This Merlot has lovely floral/black fruit aromas. It is soft and ripe on the palate with hints of blackberry, coffee and allspice. The finish is long with a perfect balance of fruit/acids/tannins. Although a modern style, there’s a hint of terroir that says “Languedoc”! An unbeatable value!

Chateau Fontbernard Montagne Merlot 2010


95

Chateau Fontbernard Montagne Merlot 2010

Tasting Notes: A truly classic Right Bank Rouge, 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvuignon. Soft, bright aromas and flavors of cherry, red currant and plum meld with hints of spice, sweet tobacco and finish with supple tannins. There are some lovely earth/mineral notes surrounding the whole that define the appellation. The 2010 is very approachable now, but will cellar nicely for three-to-five years.

Duckhorn Three Palms Vineyard Merlot 2013


96

Duckhorn Three Palms Vineyard Merlot 2013
California

Tasting Notes: It is probably fitting that one of the original pioneers of Merlot continues to produce this classic version sourced from one of the valley’s original single-vineyard sites. Winemaker Renee Ary takes a classical approach, adding
balanced amounts of Cabernet, Malbec, and Petite Verdot, and then aging for 18 months in rich French oak. A classic new-world Merlot, rich, complex, bursting with lean silky fruit.