Medium to full-bodied wines with flavors of black cherry, plum, and tobacco
Recommended Growing Regions:
Pomerol, St. Emilion, Napa Valley, Tuscany, Washington State
Roasts, hamburgers, other grilled meats
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Still, California's best Merlots, some of which predated the vogue for this variety in the 1990s, continue to be some of the finest examples of this variety outside Bordeaux -- in the same quality league with wines from Washington State and Italy's Tuscan coast region. Expect to find broad, supple wines with medium to full body, typically with aromas and flavors of black cherry, plum, dark berries, dark chocolate, tobacco, and earth, and suave, fine-grained tannins. Merlot also rules in Pomerol, and nowhere in the world does this variety make more complete wines than on the flat, clay-rich plateau that lies at the heart of this appellation.
2009 Steltzner Vineyards Estate Merlot Napa Valley Stags Leap District
Dick Steltzner's "Stags Leap" Merlot is one of the very few Napa Merlots to consistently outpoint the valley's top-flight Cabernets. We've collected Steltzner Merlot since the 1989 vintage, and decant an old bottle each Thanksgiving. (This year it's the 2001, which, based on our tasting notes from 2012, should finally be hitting full stride.)
Top Expert Rated Merlot Wines Under $25