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Merlot Wines

Merlot Wines

Merlot Wines

Merlot is the only grape varietal in Bordeaux that can compete with Cabernet Sauvignon when it comes to influence and the amount planted each year. Taking its name from the French word for a blackbird, Merlot is a versatile wine when it comes to social scenarios and food pairings. This versatility also earns it a spot in various blended wines, further solidifying Merlot as a staple in French winemaking.

Merlot wines offer a massive collage of flavors to indulge in, depending on which bottle you end up purchasing. From the sensual plums and blackberries to the earthy graphite and cedar undertones, all the way to the inclusion of cocoa in some blends, Merlot wines always have an ace up their sleeve that will surprise you and urge you to experiment even further. As Robert Parker declares in his book, “great wines have the ability to both satisfy the senses and challenge the intellect.” You can drink from the same bottle multiple times and discover something new each time, leaving you to think about what kind of masterful technique made such an achievement possible.

The relatively high alcohol content (hovering between 13% and 14.5%, depending on region) and incredible flavor cement this wine as a staple alongside many different dishes, and enable its presence at almost any kind of social event. Even if you don’t plan on storing it for a longer period, Merlot wine is a great option if you just want a satisfying drink.
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2019 silverado vineyards merlot mt. george vineyard California Red

Aromas of pine, plum and redcurrant. Medium-bodied with fresh, mineral character and silky tannins. Bright and cool on the palate. Balanced and juicy. So approachable and delicious that its hard to put down. Drink now.James Suckling | 93 JSHere’s a temperate merlot that’s not mimicking cabernet. It’s a tight wine from the cool reaches of Coombsville, with just enough greenness to push back on the lush, blue-fruited ripeness. A sapid, clean red for beef Wellington. —J.G. (3,000 cases)Wine & Spirits Magazine | 93 W&S

As low as $39.99
2019 le macchiole messorio Super Tuscan/IGT

No Tasting Note Provided | 98 W&SThis Messorio 2019 from Le Macchiole is a delightful wine. It has plenty of sweet oak spice aromas with vibrant cassis and a hint of blackcurrant leaf. The nose is shy at first and is not revealing much at the moment, but it is concentrated, and you can tell there is plenty to come. On the palate it is tangy, lively, and vibrant with a lovely texture and quality to the tannins. The 2019 is more concentrated that the 2018 and has huge potential to be really fine and age well for at least 15-20 years. This 100% Merlot comes from a 2.5-hectare plot and the typical production is 10000 bottles. Drink 2024 – 2047.The Wine Independent | 98 TWIThe stunning Le Macchiole 2019 Messorio is all Merlot from a special 2.5-hectare plot with a classic mix of Bolgheri soils featuring clay, silt, sandstone and limestone. The wine ferments in concrete and finishes in new barrique for 18 months. I spoke with proprietor Cinzia Merli about Merlot, and she concedes that this early-ripening grape suffers the most because of climate change. However, the winemaking team works extra hard for balance and elegance notwithstanding. This beautiful wine releases perfumes of cherry, blue flower, iris root, crushed stone and slate. Well-balanced oak tones add power and texture to the full-bodied close. 11,000 bottles were released.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97+ RPThe 2019 Messorio marries the natural opulence of Merlot on the Tuscan Coast with a feeling of finesse I don’t think I have ever seen here before. There is plenty of depth and resonance, but none of the heaviness that was so in vogue for many years. Dark cherry, plum, spice, mocha and lifted floral notes build into the racy, exotic finish. (Originally Published in March 2022)Vinous Media | 97 VMWell-marked by new oak at this stage, with vanilla and toasty spices wrapped around a core of plum, black cherry, earth and cedar. Graceful and balanced, turning firmer on the persistent finish. This is all about the purity of fruit, finesse and length. Decant now or age this 2-3 years. Merlot. Best from 2024 through 2038. 920 cases made, 75 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 97 WSBlackberry, oyster shell, iodine and black olive. Some cumin and thyme, too. Full-bodied with a very tight palate of firm tannins and fresh, minerally blue fruit. Needs time to open and show its true potential. Try after 2025.James Suckling | 96 JSBright cassis, straw and graphite on the nose - these are all the more open-knit characters typical of Merlot in the solarity of Bolgheri. The concentration of fruit packs a punch on the dense and fleshy palate, with a tight oaky, slightly chalky, austere character alongside velvety tannins and a graceful cedar wood finish. Assertive yet integrated acidity keeps the alcohol in balance. Great ageing potential.Decanter | 95 DECLe Macchiole is always identifiable by its death-defying acts of balance and the Messorio is no exception. Cherries, cranberries, wild herbs and soil on the nose carry through onto the palate before pepper, charred meat and a juicy spiciness come out on the finish. Tannins that are unwinding with ease and a discernible heat keep things exciting; a delight right now but watching what happens next will be worth the wait. Wine Enthusiast | 95 WE

As low as $239.00
1999 pahlmeyer merlot California Red

A mouthful of wine that packs in lots of rich, deep, plush and concentrated flavors, with tiers of currant, blackberry, raspberry and wild berry fruit. Well-integrated tannins smooth out the finish. Drink now through 2010. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 1,475 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WSGood full medium ruby. Superripe aromas of black fruits, maple syrup, mocha and graphite; at once roasted and vibrant. Supersweet in the mouth, with sappy black fruit and mineral flavors over a firm backbone. Shapelier and a bit less roasted than the 2000, with firm supporting backbone. This is very impressively concentrated California merlot; the fruit spreads out and builds on the very long, firmly tannic back end. I underrated this wine from barrel a year ago.Vinous Media | 93 VM

As low as $175.00
2005 Falesco Montiano

Very pretty mineral, blackberry, licorice and dark chocolate aromas follow through to a full-bodied palate, with ultrafine tannins and a gorgeous finish. Merlot. Best from 2008 through 2014. 5,000 cases made. Wine Spectator | 92 WSThe 2005 Montiano (Merlot) is a very pretty, accessible version of this wine with an elegant expression of dark fruit, sweet herbs and toasted oak. To be sure the 2005 is a slender Montiano but what it lacks in concentration it more than makes up for with superb drinkability. This is a beautifully balanced wine to drink now and over the next few years. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2013.Riccardo Cotarella’s numerous consulting engagements take him all over the world, but it is Falesco, his estate in the rolling hills of Umbria, that he calls home. Falesco is a family affair, with Cotarella’s brother Renzo, and daughter Dominga involved in running the winery. The sprawling property covers 670 acres, 370 of which are under vine. Quality is incredibly consistent when one considers that nearly 3 million bottles emerge from these cellars each year. Never one to rest on his laurels, Cotarella has several new projects in the works. One of the most intriguing of these is a Sagrantino he is making from three hectares of rented vineyards in Bevagna. The first vintage, 2006, will be released later this year.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 90 RPThe 2005 Montiano (Merlot) is a very pretty, accessible version of this wine with an elegant expression of dark fruit, sweet herbs and toasted oak. To be sure the 2005 is a slender Montiano but what it lacks in concentration it more than makes up for with superb drinkability. This is a beautifully balanced wine to drink now and over the next few years.Antonio Galloni | 90 AG

As low as $74.95
1998 radikon merlot Italy (Other)
As low as $220.00
2001 le macchiole merlot messorio Super Tuscans/IGT

This was a cooler year on Coastal Tuscany and the 2001 Messorio shows the signs of a slower and more prolonged evolution. The summer months were slightly cooler than average with more evident diurnal shifts towards the end of the growing season that helped to amplify the wine’s dark fruit aromas and its beautiful sense of grace and balanced power. A deep freeze during spring months naturally reduced yields in the vineyards. The wine’s slow and steady bottle evolution has established profound depth and silky persistence. The bouquet is highly distinctive thanks to the mineral notes and a touch of delicate herb (that reminded me of green clover) that lifts so delicately from the wine’s darkened core. The tannins are smooth and beautifully polished.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPThe 2001 Messorio is virtually impossible to fully appreciate in this setting because it is so many years away from maturity. The fruit is breathtaking in its beauty but remains quite primary, with only the subtlest hints of early tertiary nuance coming through from time to time. The finish is exceptionally polished, nuanced and silky. The 2001 is tough to resist today, but it will be even better in a few years’ time.Antonio Galloni | 96 AGLuscious blackberry and raspberry sauce aromas. Full-bodied, velvety and chewy tannins. Big and juicy wine. Long. Blockbuster style. Serious rock ’n’ roll red here. Pure Merlot. Best after 2007. 670 cases made, 30 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

As low as $325.00
2015 chateau carignan cadillac cotes de bordeaux prima Bordeaux Red

(Château Carignan Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux, France) Very floral and pretty with currant and violet character. Full body, round and velvety tannins and a flavorful finish. I like the hazelnut and chocolate undertones to this. Drink in 2020.James Suckling | 91 JS

As low as $22.99

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