wineries .










M E R L O T


98 CHATOM VINEYARDS
2009 Merlot
Calaveras County $20
(tasted 2/10/14)

98 KENNEDY SHAH
2013 Merlot
Columbia Valley $14
(tasted 9/4/16)

98 MCMANIS
2013 Merlot
California $10

97 HOOK & LADDER
2008 Merlot
Estate Bottled - Russian River Valley $24

97 KENNEDY SHAH
2016 Merlot
Columbia Valley $20
Inviting wild berry, blackberry, black plum, strawberry jam, cassis and pepper spice supported by light earth, cedar, vanilla and oak. Bold and spicy on the palate, this is an aggressive merlot that takes over your mouth, and holds it hostage all the way through the long, slightly rough, lingering finish. (tasted 6/5/18)

97 KENNEDY SHAH
2012 Merlot
Columbia Valley $14
(tasted 1/14/16)

97 PEDRONCELLI
2012 Merlot
Bench Vineyards - Dry Creek Valley $16

97 PEJU
2009 Merlot
Napa Valley $35

97 THOMAS HENRY
2010 Merlot
California $18
Beautiful nose of blackberry, cherry, raspberry, and a little strawberry and plum, with just enough vanilla and oak. Made like a merlot (and not a cabernet), this is a wonderfully smooth, elegant wine thatís well-balanced and leaves you wanting more on the long, round, lingering finish.

96 AIRFIELD
2014 Merlot
Yakima Valley $18
(tasted 11/2/16)

96 BOGLE
2012 Merlot
California $10

96 BROADSIDE
2013 Merlot
Margarita Vineyard - Paso Robles $20
Nice deep plum, black cherry, raspberry, strawberry and blueberry with light earth notes, spice, vanilla and oak. This is a well-balanced wine, with good mouthfeel, spicy fruit and a nice long, slightly sticky finish. (tasted 8/3/15)

96 BRUTOCAO
2011 Merlot
Bliss Vineyard - Mendocino $22
Pretty plum, black cherry, raspberry, strawberry and hints of currant mingle with dark coffee/black tea, light earth notes, and oak. This well-balanced wine has wonderful mouthfeel, good fruit and secondary character, and ends in a nice long, lingering, spicy finish.

96 BRUTOCAO
2009 Merlot
Bliss Vineyard - Mendocino $20
Pretty plum, black cherry, raspberry, strawberry and hints of currant mingle with dark coffee/black tea, light earth notes, vanilla and oak. This well-balanced wine has wonderful mouthfeel, good fruit and secondary character, and ends in a nice long, lingering, spicy finish.

96 EAGLE GLEN
2014 Merlot
Napa Valley $22
(tasted 6/3/17)

96 FREI BROTHERS
2010 Merlot
Reserve - Dry Creek Valley $20

96 IRONSTONE
2011 Merlot
California $12
Fresh plum, cherry, strawberry and raspberry aromas in a light mineral dust, violets and floral spices. Straightforward on the palate, fresh, fruit-driven flavors with hints of oak and caramel, leading to a beautiful round tannin finish. For $12/bottle, buy by the case!

96 KINGS' RANGE
2014 Merlot
Paso Robles $12
(tasted 7/15/17)

96 PEDRONCELLI
2011 Merlot
Bench Vineyards - Dry Creek Valley $16
Aromas of ripe black cherry, raspberry, green strawberry, spice and plum, with light flesh tones and a good dose of oak. This is a spicy and sassy wine, full of character. The oak takes backseat on the palate, letting the fresh fruit flavors shine through, ending in a nice, round tannin, lingering finish.

96 VALLEY LEGEND
2012 Merlot
Napa Valley $20
Very pretty nose of cherry, raspberry, plum, blackberry, with whiffs of pepper spice and chalk dust. On the palate this wine has great character! A bit tight at first, it opens beautifully displaying all the fruit and spice promised, adding a touch of vanilla and oak in the long finish. Let open or decant now.

95 HAHN
2011 Merlot
Central Coast $14

95 MEADOWCROFT
2011 Merlot
Reserve - Napa Valley $28
First whiff is of green veggies and green olives, followed by cherry, raspberry, blackberry and plum, with some spice, vanilla and oak. The palate is smooth and well-balanced, with spicy fruit flavors giving way to vanilla and oak on the long but slightly sticky finish. The green qualities almost blew off overnight, so allow to open for a while before drinking. (tasted 4/24/15)

95 THE WINERY SF
2010 Merlot
North Coast $25
Nice deep plum, black cherry, raspberry, strawberry and hints of currant, with light earth notes, spice, vanilla and oak. This is a well-balanced wine, with good mouthfeel, spicy fruit and a nice long, slightly sticky finish.

94 BOGLE
2010 Merlot
California $10

94 KENNEDY SHAH
2015 Merlot
Columbia Valley $20
Pretty nose of cherry, raspberry, red plum and light blackberry supported by the firm presence of vanilla and oak. On the palate this is a smooth, velvety, sexy merlot, with a wonderful, creamy mouthfeel of fruit and vanilla, leading to a long, lingering, round tannin finish. This is a wine for those who want a good deal of vanilla and oak. (tasted 10/14/17)

93 BLISS FAMILY VINEYARDS
2009 Merlot
Mendocino $12
Nice plum, black cherry, raspberry, strawberry and hints of currant, with dark coffee/black tea, light earth notes, vanilla and oak. This is a well-balanced wine, with good mouthfeel, spicy fruit and a nice long, slightly sticky finish.

93 CHATOM VINEYARDS
2010 Merlot
Calaveras County $23
(tasted 2/3/15)

93 CONTEMPO
NV Merlot
California $10

92 MCMANIS
2014 Merlot
California $10
(tasted 11/28/15)

91 MICHEL-SCHLUMBERGER
2012 Merlot
Le sage - Dry Creek Valley $30
Black cherry, blackberry, plum, dark roated coffee, black leather, earth and oak. At this date this is a tightish, closed wine. It did open up a bit overnight, so either wait another year for this to blossom, or decant it. (tasted 3/28/15)

90 BLISS FAMILY VINEYARDS
2010 Merlot
Mendocino $12
Slightly dusty fruit aromas of cherry, raspberry, blackberry and plum, with a decent backbone of oak. Straightforward on the palate, well-balanced, and a nice mouthfeel leading to a round-tannin finish.

90 CYCLES GLADIATOR
2012 Merlot
California $12

90 HOOK & LADDER
2009 Merlot
Estate Bottled - Russian River Valley $24

90 TABLE NO. 7
2011 Winemakers Merlot
California $12
Nice nose of blackberry, cherry, red plum, red raspberry, with light herbs and spice, and a good wallop of oak. The palate offers the same, with nice fruit and seconds in a well-balanced body leading to a nice lingering round-tannin finish. A lot of winemaking but at a good price. (tasted 7/14/15)