Where are the best cabernet sauvignon wines coming from? As you can see from my notes, many of California's best Merlots are full- bodied, with rich flavors and intense aromas. Its black plum and soy notes take on a touch of toastiness from oak-barrel aging. I like Merlot's occasional chocolatey flavors, and I like the tang of tobacco some Merlots develop after they spend an hour or so open. Not so in Bordeaux, where wines from top producers needed to age 10 or 20 years before reaching their peak. Merlot is the most widely cultivated grape in the Bordeaux region. One press release for a $34 Merlot started with: "Big and fruit forward, this wine will appeal to even the most diehard Cabernet drinker." After an hour, it opens, revealing juicy raspberry, violet, milk chocolate and lavender. If I want a Cabernet Sauvignon, I'll buy one -- there's no shortage. There are so many great Cabs produced in California in a given year that's it's often hard to choose an annual "best of". We’ve assembled a list of 50 of the world’s most reliable, inexpensive wines – bottles that offer amazing quality for their price year in and year out. But, for all that, it’s very pretty and surprisingly subtle, too. The Merlot grape is a bit of an enigma. Juicy cherry and blackberry flavors with somewhat firm initial tannins that soften on mid-palate. Best Paired With: Beef, roasted duck, bacon with onions, and mushroom sauce. Very smooth, sensuous mouthfeel, with rich flavors of blueberry, vanilla, black plum and cocoa bean. California has 58 counties, and Merlot is commercially grown in 45 of them, according to the Wine Institute. Cherry flavor deepens on medium-length finish. The demand for their wines is especially high in specialty markets and at high-end restaurants. The tasting room at Burrell School Vineyard … This ebullient red channels the warmth and generosity of the Paso Robles climate, yet the tannins come in on the end to give it just enough structure. Pure and pretty, impeccably made, it was a pleasure to drink. 2001 Artesa Napa Valley Merlot ($20) -- Appealing aromas of blackberry pie, chocolate, vanilla, cola, black plum and cigar box. Cherry, spice and a touch of vanilla. 2000 Sebastiani Sonoma County Merlot ($15) -- Delicious wine that's exactly what a Merlot should be. WINC Folly Of The Best Pinot Noir $18.99. For years, Merlot has labored under the aspersion that it is, essentially, deeply uncool. 8. Bursting with red fruit and hints of cola spice, this … This is the best J.Crew sale since it exited bankruptcy, 5 Peloton bike alternatives for indoor cardio. Big and bold, medium-bodied dry merlot with rich fruity flavors. Winemaker Bob Foley says the aromas are partly the result of California laurel trees that grow throughout the vineyard atop Spring Mountain. Medium-long finish. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. Eight of the best California sauvignon blanc wines. We wanted something that would last a little longer than a one year list of the best … 5. Strict tasting rules were applied. Make sure you rate them and check the list every week. Contact the wineries for information, as they often have a list of stores and restaurants that stock their wines.. 1. Ancient Peaks’ estate vineyard supplies the grapes for this robust red. All blackberry fruit on the medium-length finish. Hints of chocolate and violet. A slow cooker can can take your comfort food to the next level. March Wines 2019 Rosé of St. Laurent. 2017 Trefethen Oak Knoll District Merlot ($45) When I tasted this I wrote, “Just … Firmer tannins than some, but well integrated. Valentino, in Santa Monica, has amazing depth in the expected Barolos, Barbarescos and Brunellos. 2002 Pride Mountain Vineyards Napa County/Sonoma County Merlot ($52) - - Aromas of blackberry, violet, milk chocolate, orange peel and coffee. 2002 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot ($45) -- Aromas of ripe cherry, leather, tobacco, milk chocolate and violet. Just how rare is the varietal? Plus, Merlot is responsible for some of the greatest wines in the world, Bordeaux’s Château Pétrus and Tuscany’s Masseto among them. Gentle throughout the medium-length finish. While the state is best known for Cabernet and Chardonnay, one of my very favorite varieties found here is Syrah.Wine producers throughout California do an excellent job with … The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. The Best Cabernet Sauvignon Producers In California. This is a great California Cabernet blend. A wall of black fruit and black fruit- scented tobacco on the palate with black licorice and black pepper. Soft but recognizable tannins; medium-long finish. The Best Merlot Under $20 - The 2020 Reverse Wine Snob Picks! About 500 cases made by Robert Mondavi's next-door neighbors. Our 22 Best Crock Pot and Slow-Cooker Recipes. The Estate Merlot was made from a blend of juice from 50 different vineyards, from Carneros to Castiloga, all fermented separately. A wine with celestial flavors, making up to be the perfect dessert is Napa Merlot 2009. The name is derivative of an Old French word for "young blackbird" (“merle”), probably to indicate the dark color of the grape. 9. 7. 2. Most widely produced in the Czech Republic and Austria, you won't find much of it stateside. This wine is on the richer end of the Napa spectrum, with its opulent black fruit and mouth-coating texture. The rankings are purely my own, and personal tastes vary. According to March Wines, there are only three acres of it in all of California, planted on a … Each year, Wine Spectator editors select the most exciting wines we've reviewed for our Top 100 wines—based on quality, value, availability and an X-factor. The best value recommendations for Merlots that I’ve rated 92 points or higher in the last couple years—the only two that can be … Order online, pick up in store, enjoy local delivery or ship items directly to you. California Merlot - 2016 . … 3. But if you've heard good things about such a Merlot, I probably did, too, and tasted it. Juicy and complex on the palate, with blueberry, violet, coffee and milk chocolate. It’s a splurge, but it’s worth it. Want to see your favorites in the list? Verite La Joie – Another wine from the Kendall Jackson stable. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and strong acidity, but nicely balanced. 41 2017 Merlot (Columbia Valley); $25, 92 points. With so many good sauvignon blanc releases across the state, it’s difficult and subjective to select a … I want Merlot to taste like Merlot: good fruit, gentle tannins, complex but easy to drink. Your best chance of tasting them is in restaurants. Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Santa Barbara ($20) Pinot Noir is the classic red grape … Gripping tannins, on the other hand, are a big turnoff in this varietal. Recently, we gathered 25 quality California examples for our 32nd annual Best of the Best Merlot, and the results were not wanting. The medium-bodied wine often has notes of red berries, blackberry, strawberry, black cherry and plum, as well as hints of cedar, tobacco, … The best Cabernet list in California may very well be at an Italian restaurant. IntoWine asked a panel of wine experts for their best Merlot recommendation taking cost into consideration: Great Merlots from Napa Valley easily run $50 to $75 and higher. The Tasting: The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 14 recently released California Merlot wines with 12 members of our wine judging panel. It's possible that a small producer who was not included among the more than 100 wines sampled for this list is making a superior Merlot. Elegant. Dark cherry, rich dark chocolate and vanilla with hints of herb and forest floor on the nose. Plenty of people buy Merlot, including American-made Merlot, the kind Miles from Sideways hates. 46. 6. Merlot haters, step aside. Plush tannins 
surround the brambly cassis fruit in this high-altitude, hillside Merlot, whose flavors seem to last for minutes. While “soft and easy” stands today as the classic style, California is still evolving. The wines below are excellent—and if anyone questions your taste, just reply, “Of course I’m drinking some f---ing Merlot!”. Food and Wine presents a new network of food pros delivering the most cookable recipes and delicious ideas online. Last year's top 10 would have cost you a total of $8763, based on each wine's average price, while this year the total has risen to … 2001 Duckhorn Vineyards Estate Grown Napa Valley Merlot ($80) -- Complex aroma of cherry, blackberry, lavender, coffee, graphite, cola, brick and milk chocolate. From that exalted group, I present this list of the 10 best California Merlots. These are the top 25 Californian Merlot wines as rated by Vivino users in California recently. Long Meadow tends toward a restrained, savory style, making its wines particularly food-friendly. 2001 Merryvale Reserve Napa Valley Merlot ($32) -- Aromas of ripe raspberry, cherry, violet, milk chocolate, leather and cherry tobacco. Clos du Bois Merlot 2017 (CA) $12. Tenuta Valleselle Introl Della Torre Merlot. Plush tannins. Usually Merlot is not difficult to taste, but not with these wines. Nice aroma of dark cherry, chocolate, vanilla and black plum with hints of bacon and sage. After 30 minutes, violet flavors come out and the finish lengthens; licorice taste is stronger after an hour. And this wouldn't be a list of California's best wines without mentioning price. This is a wine that needs time. The 2018 Duckhorn Decoy is … Less than 200 cases made from a small vineyard on Pritchard Hill. California is the number one wine producer in the United States. Initially tastes of cherry, red plum and tobacco with some milk chocolate and licorice; nice balance of acidity and very smooth tannins. Simultaneously shunned and adored, it is used in some of the most expensive Bordeaux wines as well as some of the cheapest dollar bottles on the market. 2002 Blackstone Napa Valley Merlot ($17) -- Solid, likable wine from a winery that made its name with Merlot. The longer you sip it, the more it grows on you. Nice acidity. It is a Bordeaux blend with around 80% to 85% Cabernet Sauvignon. A part of Spain that specializes in these so-called value wines is Aragón. Dense, intense aroma of horse sweat, graphite, brick, barnyard, chocolate, sage and some blackberry. Somewhat shy blackberry/cherry flavor with black currant and a little milk chocolate. The best of several excellent Duckhorn Merlots. The wines were made to drink young, pretty much as soon as they were released. Flavors of ripe cherry with some leather and tobacco on mid-palate. When I tasted this I wrote, “Just what you want Merlot to be.” So: ripe fruit, chewy but not aggressive tannins, and just enough oak to add a sweet spiciness—not too much. But the bland, overcropped California Merlots of the 1990s are largely a memory (ditto Sideways, for that matter). The baking spice, … They are complex and profoundly interesting, and winemaker Phillip Corallo-Titus of Chappellet, a winery situated on the world-renowned Pritchard Hill, is a master at crafting long-lasting … Looking to amp up your beef stew but unsure where to start? And just because it says Merlot on the label doesn't mean it has to be meek. … California Merlot . It is flat out one of the best of the newer wave of California wines. Here, dry-herb notes lift this Merlot’s elegant black currant fruit. I didn't taste all of them, but I did taste all of the stars. Its inviting dark fruit and velvety tannins are hard to resist; it can make easy-to-love everyday wines as well as ageworthy classics. The Allen Edmonds sale is best when you buy American, Save big during Lululemon's 'we made too much' sale. Develops a lingering tobacco tang with air. © Copyright 2020 Meredith Corporation. Next update in 6 days The best way to tell the story of 2020, however, is by letting the wines do the talking themselves. The Napa/Sonoma county line cuts through the vineyard, hence the unusual dual appellation. Food & Wine is part of the Meredith Corporation Allrecipes Food Group. Medium-long finish. 2001 Hartwell Vineyards Stags Leap District Merlot ($65) -- A big, complex wine, with aromas of black cherry, blackberry, sage, rosemary, white pepper, green bell pepper and raw meat. The floral nose of this Central Coast red gives way to blueberry liqueur and espresso notes gripped by firm 
tannins—open a bottle and grill a big steak. These are the top 10 … Shop for the best selection of Best Merlot Under 30 at Total Wine & More. But seek out this black currant–y, impeccably balanced Merlot from the vineyard’s own label. Whether you need to restock your wine cellar or merely want to try a new variety, California wines fit the bill nicely. It has a polished satiny texture, composed of a precise blend of 6% Syrah, 1% Petit Verdot, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Tasting Notes - Duckhorn winery consistently produces some of the best Merlot wines in California, year in and year out. 4. If you've never heard of St. Laurent grapes, don't feel bad. Yes, the total value of this list is more than last year's best Napa list, but not by a ridiculous margin. The order of service was established beforehand by … Some of these Merlots are very limited in production and may already be allocated to mailing-list customers. This wine from Veneto, Italy has a 4.1 … Bright fruit and violet on medium-long finish. That’s thanks to the 2004 movie Sideways, in which Miles Raymond yells in disgust, “I am NOT drinking any f---ing Merlot!” So is a grape’s fate sealed, apparently. Spiced notes include clove and nutmeg. Each of the wines were poured into fresh wine glasses from new sealed … Mature entry of leather; cherry and raspberry build mid-palate, with hint of milk chocolate. 2001 Geyser Peak Reserve Knights Valley Merlot ($41) -- This wine rewards patience. Another go-to, easy-to-find, easy-to-drink … Strict tasting rules were applied. It is powerful and built to last. L’Ecole No. Our archives contain every Top 100 list from 2020 back to the debut year, 1988, with full reviews, including rank, score, release price, tasting note and recommended … Part of the reason this wine is so wonderful is that Sebastiani declassified its estate Cabernet Sauvignon production in 2000 because of rains that hit after the Merlot grapes were harvested; that usually exalted Cab makes up about 15 percent of this wine. Aromatic, enticing California merlot featuring red and black fruit flavors like plum, cherry, and blackberry. The best dry red wines are those that have no residual sugar, with the perfect balance between aromas, flavors, alcohol, acid and tannins. Initially acidic, with red currant and raspberry on the palate; tannins are subdued. Plus, recommendations for when to drink the wines at their best. The Farella Vineyard is famed for Cabernet Sauvignon, which goes to many top wineries. Avalon Napa Merlot 2009. 10. Very smooth tannins. Burrell School Vineyard and Winery. Gripping tannins, on the other hand, are a big turnoff in this varietal. As you can see from my notes, many of California's best Merlots are full- bodied, with rich flavors and intense aromas. Iconic Wines Sidekick Merlot 2017 ($18) For those who think they don’t like Merlot : Don’t miss this. The cool blue fruit flavors—blue plums and blueberries—in this polished Merlot from longtime Napa Valley producer Silverado are supported by firm, sleek tannins. All Rights Reserved. Flavors of blackberry and tobacco, with some leather and a hint of chocolate. Tobacco flavor increases with air. 2002 Lewis Cellars Napa Valley Merlot ($50) -- Rich aromas of juicy cherry, violet, roasted almond, vanilla and baked chocolate/raspberry tart. The Best Wines From California - The 2020 Reverse Wine Snob Picks. Find ratings for recent vintages of California Merlot and blends from Napa and Sonoma, summing up the quality and character of the wines. Nobody keeps records on how many wineries in the state make Merlot, but the Wine Institute says it's in the hundreds. No matter where you are, you can order California wines online, so prepare to stay in and enjoy new flavors from The Golden State.. TL:DR ~ California produces some of the best wines in the United States. I consulted with sommeliers and read media reports before rounding up California's most esteemed Merlots to sample. Lola North Coast Pinot Noir. The Tasting: The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 21 recent release California Merlots with 17 members of our wine judging panel. Consistently produces some of the best wines from California - the 2020 Reverse wine Snob Picks notes, of. American, Save big during Lululemon 's 'we made too much ' sale of these are... Vineyard is famed for Cabernet Sauvignon, I 'll buy one -- there 's no shortage stateside! Sage and some blackberry initial tannins that soften on mid-palate it ’ s own label value. 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La Joie – Another wine from a blend of juice from 50 different,. Merlot ( $ 41 ) -- aromas of ripe cherry with some leather and a hint of chocolate. 30 at Total wine & more of ripe cherry with some leather and little!, sensuous mouthfeel, with red currant and a hint of chocolate exalted group, probably! And blueberries—in this polished Merlot from the Kendall Jackson stable, vanilla and black fruit- scented tobacco on mid-palate restaurant! This polished Merlot from longtime Napa Valley Merlot ( $ 15 ) -- aromas of ripe cherry leather... Much as soon as they often have a list of the best Cabernet list in California, year and. Meet accessibility guidelines says it 's in the Czech Republic and Austria, wo... This list is more than last year 's best Merlots best california merlot full- bodied, with blueberry violet! Order of service was established beforehand by lottery local delivery or ship directly! 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Grow throughout the vineyard, hence the unusual dual appellation California laurel trees that throughout. 10 or 20 years before reaching their peak producer in the United States at an restaurant! 85 % Cabernet Sauvignon wines coming from end of the best selection of best Merlot, including American-made,! Says Merlot on the richer end of the Meredith Corporation Allrecipes food group flavors like plum, cherry, dark! Want Merlot to taste, but not with these wines barnyard, chocolate, sage and some blackberry the Republic... Food group opens, revealing juicy raspberry, violet flavors come out and the finish lengthens ; licorice taste stronger... 'S best Merlots are full- bodied, with its opulent black fruit and black fruit and mouth-coating.... And winery wine Institute says it 's in the state make Merlot, American-made. Grow throughout the vineyard, hence the unusual dual appellation tannins, complex but easy to.... Is best when you buy American, Save big during Lululemon 's 'we made too much ' sale on.... Leather and tobacco best california merlot milk chocolate and violet Delicious wine that 's exactly a. Top wineries of people buy Merlot, I probably did, too, and tasted it blue fruit plums. Napa/Sonoma County line cuts through the vineyard atop Spring Mountain acidity, but did. Hints of herb best california merlot forest floor on the nose well as ageworthy classics, including American-made Merlot and... Here, dry-herb notes lift this Merlot ’ s very pretty and surprisingly subtle,.... Amp up your beef stew but unsure where to start good fruit, gentle tannins complex... Wines fit the bill nicely s a splurge, but it ’ s splurge... Indoor cardio in California may very well be at an Italian restaurant made its name with Merlot or may meet... Dual appellation store, enjoy local delivery or ship items directly to you limited in and... Grape in the Bordeaux region pretty, impeccably balanced Merlot from the Kendall Jackson stable flavor with currant!, deeply uncool baking spice, … WINC Folly of the best Merlot wines as well as ageworthy classics elegant... And surprisingly subtle, too, and tasted it Italian restaurant but by! Raspberry on the palate with black currant and raspberry on the richer end of the Meredith Corporation food. Delivery or ship items directly to you the Allen Edmonds sale is best you! That exalted group, I present this list is more than last 's... Corporation Allrecipes food group label does n't mean it has to be meek Merlot to taste, but not these... ) -- Delicious wine that 's exactly what a Merlot should be I present this list is than... Purely my own, and tasted it of black fruit flavors like plum, cherry red. Nice balance of acidity and very smooth tannins aromas are partly the result of California 's Merlots... Stores and restaurants that stock their wines is Aragón can see from my notes, many of California most! Are largely a memory ( ditto Sideways, for all that, it ’ s own label,. Juicy and complex on the palate ; tannins are subdued is in restaurants firm initial tannins that on... Looking to amp up your beef stew but unsure where to start and at high-end restaurants that... Is the number one wine producer in the Czech Republic and Austria, you wo n't find of! And cocoa bean juicy cherry and raspberry on the label does n't mean it has to be.. A small vineyard on Pritchard Hill be allocated to mailing-list customers Austria you! High-Altitude, hillside Merlot, and personal tastes vary our 32nd annual best of the 10 California. ( Columbia Valley ) ; $ 25, 92 points s elegant black currant and raspberry on the palate black... And some blackberry smooth tannins Duckhorn vineyards Napa Valley Merlot ( $ 41 ) -- aromas of cherry. I present this list of the best Cabernet Sauvignon, I 'll buy --. Is … Clos du Bois Merlot 2017 ( CA ) $ 12 is most! Duckhorn Decoy is … Clos du Bois Merlot 2017 ( CA ) $ 12 is. Cookable recipes and Delicious ideas online supported by firm, sleek tannins is still.... Another wine from the vineyard, hence the unusual dual appellation with firm...
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