Top 100 Wines: Merlot

Chelsea Goldschmidt
2013 Alexander Valley Merlot
One of winemaker Nick Goldschmidt’s “Daughters” series and named for No. 2 daughter Chelsea, this Merlot is youthful and fresh-tasting, with savory tobacco, anise and barrel spice notes accenting the juicy red cherry and berry flavors. Good value. (LM)

FrostWatch Vineyard & Winery
2012 Bennett Valley Merlot
The Bennett Valley region in southeast Santa Rosa has long been a happy home for Merlot, and this wine underscores that. It has aromas
and soft, juicy flavors of baked plum, with pencil shavings and cedar notes in the background. The long finish speaks its mind about the
pleasure of cherries. (VB)

2012 Vintner’s Reserve Sonoma County Merlot
Splashes of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon add complexity to this flat-out delicious, stylish Merlot. Generous in plump plum, black
raspberry and black cherry fruit, it has a very pleasant herbal quality, moderate oak structure and supple tannins. (LM)

Merriam Vineyards
2011 Windacre Russian River Valley Merlot
From the eastern, warmest part of the cool Russian River Valley comes this wine, awarded 95 points at the North Coast Wine Challenge and showing hints of plum, dark cherry and distinctive dried red cherry. It’s mouthwatering and firmly structured, suggesting a long life in the cellar. (LM)

Pride Mountain
2012 Vintner Select Merlot Sonoma County
Grown in an area called the Lower Mountaintop, this Merlot is complex and sinewy, with elements of candied cherry, raspberry, vanilla and cured meat. With plenty of body to stay vibrant, it’s also full-bodied, rich in dark chocolate and toasted oak. (VB)