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Abeja Merlot Columbia Valley 2014

This one-hundred-percent Merlot has really nice, bright red fruit, rose petals, and a richness on the nose. Flavors of plum, mountain strawberry and mocha come together with a balanced mouth feel and a long finish. Though it was a cooler vintage, I feel we have still captured the powerfully elegant style for which we are known.

Review:

"The 2014 Columbia Valley Merlot (100% Merlot) is a ripe, black fruit, plum, leafy herbs and mineral-scented effort that has medium to full-bodied richness, moderate mid-palate depth and tons of upfront charm. It's going to drink nicely through 2024."
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #231, June 2017), 90 pts

"The aromas bring notes of dried herb, vanilla bean, wood spice and black cherry. The flavors are rich and luscious, supported by plump ripe tannins. The finish lingers."
- Wine Enthusiast (June 2017), 91 pts

 Wine Advocate: 90 Wine Enthusiast: 91
Arietta Hudson Vineyards Merlot 2012

Produced from the oldest planting of grapes on Lee Hudson’s heralded vineyard in the Napa Carneros, this latest offering of Arietta Merlot is one for the ages. Certainly a classic vintage, 2012 delivered fruit with brilliant purity, structure, and a strong sense of place. This unique—one might say historic—block of Merlot shows the best that this variety has to offer in California. Well-proportioned, fresh, flavorful, dark and complex, this wine is sure to impress lovers of Pomerol, and show that California is capable of producing Merlot wines with strength, yes, but also nuance, delicacy, and multiple layers of interest. This wine should continue to open and develop over the next decade, and age gracefully for another decade or two.


Review:

Arietta's 2012 Merlot emerges from the oldest vines on Lee Hudson's vineyard in Carneros. A dark, super-expressive wine, the Merlot is endowed with serious depth, power and structure. Brambly red fruit, smoke, tobacco and grilled herbs emerge from a surprisingly big, structured wine that should drink well for many, many years. -Antonio Galloni Vinous 95 points

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 95
Avennia Valery Red Blend 2013

 

Avennia Valery Red Blend is made from 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc

Valery is named for the patron saint of wine in the St. Emilion region that inspired it.
We started with old vine Merlot from a stony block in the heart of the Yakima Valley and added complex, aromatic Cabernet Franc from the Horse Heaven Hills. The result is a balanced, complex wine with the elegance and ethereal perfume that this blend of two of Washington’s best varietals are known for.

The nose on this wine is very perfumed, almost exotic with notes of fresh violets, red plum, winter mint, fresh herbs and crushed limestone qualities. The palate is poised and balanced, with red fruits and mocha powder encapsulated in limestone. The finish lingers delicately, with the Cabernet Franc asserting a light tobacco and herb note, giving depth. A compelling wine that will continue to unwind for 7-10 years in the cellar.


Review:

A blend of 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc, the 2013 Valery comes from 1986 plantings and sees moderate levels of new oak. Elegant, medium-bodied, supple and pretty, with perfumed notes of red plums, blackberry, spice-box and dried earth, it opens up nicely in the glass and has outstanding length. If it puts on weight in bottle, the score will be low.

Winemaker Chris Peterson calls 2012 an "Iconic vintage," adding that there were no heat spikes and that it's as good as, if not better than, 2007. I'm in complete agreement with him and loved these latest releases. Chris's wines always have firm, savory characters, yet back it up with serious mid-palate depth and concentration. These are all wines I can't wait to taste when they're at full maturity. Wine Advocate 90-92 Points

 Wine Advocate: 92
Avennia Valery Red Blend 2014

Avennia Valery Red Blend is made from 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc

Valery is named for the patron saint of wine in the St. Emilion region that inspired it.
We started with old vine Merlot from a stony block in the heart of the Yakima Valley and added complex, aromatic Cabernet Franc from the Horse Heaven Hills. The result is a balanced, complex wine with the elegance and ethereal perfume that this blend of two of Washington’s best varietals are known for.

The nose on this wine is very perfumed, almost exotic with notes of fresh violets, red plum, winter mint, fresh herbs and crushed limestone qualities. The palate is poised and balanced, with red fruits and mocha powder encapsulated in limestone. The finish lingers delicately, with the Cabernet Franc asserting a light tobacco and herb note, giving depth. A compelling wine that will continue to unwind for 7-10 years in the cellar.


Review:

Tasted out of barrel and a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, the 2014 Valery offers lots of leafy herbs, tobacco leaf, black cherries and a touch of dark chocolate in an elegant, focused, fresh style. The estate's Right Bank-styled release, it too should drink nicely in its youth, yet also evolve for 10-15 years. - Wine Advocate 91-93 Points

 Wine Advocate: 93
Balius Merlot Sonoma Coast 2016

SALE!


Balius Merlot Sonoma Coast is made from 100% Merlot - 25 years old

Stainless + partial in French oak 35% for 18 months

The wine boasts enticing aromas of black cherry and blackberry with hints of spice. The palate is rich and concentrated offering cherry flavors and a velvety mouthfeel. It is elegant with balanced acidity, silky tannins and a lingering finish.

Harvest late October 24 brix, aged in oak, small percentage of petite sirah.

Bellevue Cotes de Bordeaux-Castillon Cé Ma Cuvée 2015

Bellevue Cotes de Bordeaux-Castillon Cé Ma Cuvée is made from 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc

The wine is made with 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc. Average age of the vines is 50 years old (everything is between 40 and 60 years old).

Cé Ma Cuvée is a tribute from Michel Lydoire to his 2 daughters:
Cé is for Céline. She is like the Merlot grape varietal. Pleasant and calm.
Ma is for Marina. She is like the Cabernet Franc grape varietal. Tough and with a lot of character.

The color is deep and inky. 
The nose is spicy, fruity and oaky with some nice vanilla and coconut aromas. 
The mouthfeel is complex, with ripe red and black fruit flavors. Some spiciness and integrated oak flavors.

The wine starts as the Vieilles vignes, but some wine is aged in 500-liter American Oak Barrels for 18 months. 
They are using a mix of different toastiness for the barrels. Some high toast and some are medium toast.

This is a fun wine that can be enjoyed with any food, charbroil burgers, grilled vegetables, cheeses ... or even with dark chocolate desserts.

Review:

"Smoked clear tar on the finish here, successful but the fruit is secondary to the smoked polish on the attack. An accomplished wine, well constructed. 70% Merlot 30% Cabernet Franc with 18 months in both American and French new oak. Winemaker Céline Lydoire is making a statement. Drink 2018-2028"
- Decanter (April 2018), 91 pts

 91 Points
Bellevue Cotes de Bordeaux-Castillon Vielles Vignes 2015

Bellevue Cotes de Castillon Cuvee Vieilles Vignes Eleve en Futs de Chene is made from 65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc.  Aged in mostly new oak barrels (90% French oak and 10% American oak), and some Château Haut Brion 2nd Barrels.

Betz Family Clos de Betz 2013

Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot

SALE!
Washington southern Rhone varieties continue their winning streak, proving to excel in cool and hot vintages. Fans of this
Southern Rhone-inspired wine will note that there’s no Counoise in the 2012 blend as there has been in recent vintages; that variety ripened fine, but they lacked the penetrating character needed to complement the final wine. The Mourvedre fraction (15%) stepped through in the wine, making the 2012 deeper, more structured yet finely layered. Grenache (50%) still dominates the blend, with its creamy black raspberry, wild dried strawberry, dried herbs and floral notes. Cinsault (20%) fills in with its dusty blue notes, and Yakima Valley Syrah (15%) provides more backbone. This is a Bésoleil for the cellar, dense and full, and a few years of aging will expand its Chateauneuf-like appeal.

"The only other 2013 reviewed on this go around (most were reviewed last year), the 2013 Clos de Betz checks in as a blend of 63% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Petit Verdot, mostly from Red Mountain and Yakima Valley, that spent 19 months in French oak. Sexy, supple, perfumed and beautifully complex, with notes of currants, dried flowers and an almost garrigue like perfume, this full-bodied beauty is already impossible to resist, yet will absolutely cruise for another 10-15 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 94 pts

 Wine Advocate: 94
Betz Family Clos de Betz 2014

Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot

Washington southern Rhone varieties continue their winning streak, proving to excel in cool and hot vintages. Fans of thisSouthern Rhone-inspired wine will note that there’s no Counoise in the 2012 blend as there has been in recent vintages; that variety ripened fine, but they lacked the penetrating character needed to complement the final wine. The Mourvedre fraction (15%) stepped through in the wine, making the 2012 deeper, more structured yet finely layered. Grenache (50%) still dominates the blend, with its creamy black raspberry, wild dried strawberry, dried herbs and floral notes. Cinsault (20%) fills in with its dusty blue notes, and Yakima Valley Syrah (15%) provides more backbone. This is a Bésoleil for the cellar, dense and full, and a few years of aging will expand its Chateauneuf-like appeal.



Review:

Bright, dark red-ruby. Alluring floral lift to the aromas of blackberry, cassis, Bing cherry, sweet spices and anise. Sweet, plush wine with great sex appeal to its intense, pliant flavors of amarena cherry, flint and spicy oak. Really remarkable--and not at all stewed--for Merlot from a hot year; Betz noted that he picked these vines early, "with tension and vitality." Finishes very long and smooth, with suave, perfectly supported tannins dusting the front teeth. A great, velvety Merlot-based wine from Washington. Betz adds some Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot to wine "to provide more structure, nuance and color."


 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 94
Betz Family Clos de Betz 2015

Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot

Washington southern Rhone varieties continue their winning streak, proving to excel in cool and hot vintages. Fans of thisSouthern Rhone-inspired wine will note that there’s no Counoise in the 2012 blend as there has been in recent vintages; that variety ripened fine, but they lacked the penetrating character needed to complement the final wine. The Mourvedre fraction (15%) stepped through in the wine, making the 2012 deeper, more structured yet finely layered. Grenache (50%) still dominates the blend, with its creamy black raspberry, wild dried strawberry, dried herbs and floral notes. Cinsault (20%) fills in with its dusty blue notes, and Yakima Valley Syrah (15%) provides more backbone. This is a Bésoleil for the cellar, dense and full, and a few years of aging will expand its Chateauneuf-like appeal.



Review:

"Possessing even more Merlot than the 2014, the 2015 Clos de Betz is 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot brought up in a mix of barrels. Its chocolatey plum, tobacco leaf, licorice and damp earth aromatics give way to a medium to full-bodied, polished, pretty style on the palate that shines for its elegance and freshness. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #231, June 2017), 92-94 pts

 Wine Advocate: 94
Boxwood Estate Reserve Red 2015

A powerful red wine representing the best of the vintage. Blend: Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.

Boxwood Estate Rose 2017

An attractive pale salmon color, complex nose of very agreeable aromas predominantly white flowers and white pepper with underlying notes of apricot. The body is medium with a rounded palate of flavors including honeydew and lychees with refreshing acidity that is balanced and lingering. It has a medium long finish leaving an impression of aromatic vivacity.

Boxwood Estate Rose is made from 41% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 12% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot.

This rosé wine is a blend of one-third whole cluster pressed Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes and two-thirds saignée from Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The whole cluster portion was harvested in early September when the grapes were ripe enough to lend good fruit character and bright acidity to the wine without adding too dark a color. The saignée portion developed as the various red grapes were harvested throughout the season from mid-September to mid-October. All grapes were hand harvested in bright sunshine. Juice was clarified, then cool fermented using specific cultured yeasts. It was blended in early January.

Winemaker: Zane Katsikis


Boxwood Estate Topiary 2016

Boxwood Estate Topiary is made from 71% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot.


The Topiary is a dark garnet color. A delicate floral nose of violet and lilac lingers through to the palate, blooming into plush dark flavors of blueberry, blackberry and plum. A strong fruit character leads into woody tannin and subtle hints of graphite, challenging the norms of Merlot-based Bordeaux blends with its lively fruitiness and a lengthy and full-bodied finish.

Hand harvested, triple sorted, destemmed, gravity fed into open-top stainless steel fermenters
• 15% bleed, whole berry fermentation separate by varietal
• Pump over, 100% manual punch down, 8 day fermentation 14 day post fermentation maceration
• Pumped into barrel, free run separated from press wine (1st press only)
• Malolactic fermentation in barrel
• Aging in French oak barrels for 12 months, 33% new / 33% 1 year / 33% 2 year

Boxwood Estate Trellis 2016

Boxwood Estate Trellis is made from 73% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot.

The  Trellis has a bright cherry color. The nose is expressive with aromas of red cherry, raspberry, tobacco, and dried herbs. The pallet is balanced with medium acidity and a medium body. There is prominent raspberry and pomegranate on the pallet. Light dusty tannins fill out the finish of the wine.

Hand harvested, triple sorted, destemmed, gravity fed into open-top stainless steel fermenters
20% bleed, whole berry fermentation separate by varietal
Pump over, 100% manual punch down, 21 day total maceration
Pumped into barrel, free run separated from press wine (1st press only)
Malolactic fermentation in barrel

Aging in French oak barrels for 12 months, 12% new, 44% one year and 44% two year


Brulesecaille Rouge Grande Reserve 2015

55% Merlot, 30% Cabernet sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec.

The color is deep dark ruby. limpid and brilliant. The nose is intense and complex with hints of blackberries, sweet spicies, noble plain chocolate and Vanilla. The palate is full bodied, very long with well integrated tannins. The finish is very fresh and luscious with toasted notes in the background.

Average age of the vines is 30 years.
Manual harvest from September 21th to October 7th 2015.
Upon arrival at the winery, only the best grapes were selected using a sorting table.
Skin contact maceration during 2 weeks in temperature controlled vats.
Aged 12 months in Oak barrels. (1/3 new oak, 1/3 1 year old and 1/3 two year old barrels). They use 60% French Oak and 40% American Oak.

Served with red meat (beef filet, sirloin),  pork tenderloin, roasted duck breast with honey&orange sauce, roasted lamb with thyme, poultry and fine cheese.

Buty Merlot Cabernet Franc 2014

Made from  67% Merlot and  33% Cabernet Franc

Vineyard: This vintage was sourced exclusively from the sloping, sandy soils of the famed Conner Lee Vineyard. Conner Lee is a cool site in a warm, sunny region of Washington. In this eastern Washington desert, the hot summer ripens the fruit, while the diurnal temperatures keep the acids high and the pH low. Buty has bottled a blend of merlot & cabernet franc since 2000, our inaugural vintage.


Winemaking: We hand-sorted and destemmed with gravity transfer to tank,

which allowed us to preserve the fruit's abundant aromatics. We aerated during fermentation in wood tanks for two weeks and selected only free-run wine to blend. The wines were aged 15 months in Taransaud and Bel Air French Château barrels, one-third of which were new, with minimal racking. 


Tasting Notes: While the majority of this blend is merlot, the intensity of the
cabernet franc in is amazing. Not only does it add a vivid floral component to the wine, but it brings a rare blueberry note that underscores the dark berry and jam aromas of the merlot. New oak aging for select lots contributes citrus and cinnamon spice layers, with cool vintage acidity adding poise and precision. The mid-palate is juicy and rich, with plush tannins that lead to a long, sophisticated finish, with hints of blackberry, brioche and spice.

 


Review:

"Supple, broad and expressive, layering rose petal–accented cherry and plum flavors against powdery tannins, finishing with sleekness and harmony. Drink now through 2024.—H.S"
- Wine Spectator's Insider (October 5th 2016), 92 pts

 

 Wine Spectator: 92
Cambon la Pelouse Cru Bourgeois 2015

Cambon la Pelouse Haut Medoc is produced from a careful selection of the grapes. Made from 50% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Limited yield: 45 hl/ha.
Aged in oak barrels for 12 months (50% new oak). Intense ruby/purple color. Delicate aromas of red fruit, liquorice, vanilla and caramel. Ripe fruit flavors, well balanced, great harmonious structure, silky tannins and a good length.

Pairs well with game and red meats, cured cheeses.

 

Cambon la Pelouse Haut-Medoc 2010

Cambon la Pelouse Haut Medoc is produced from a careful selection of the grapes. Made from 50% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Limited yield: 45 hl/ha.
Aged in oak barrels for 12 months (50% new oak). Intense ruby/purple color. Delicate aromas of red fruit, liquorice, vanilla and caramel. Ripe fruit flavors, well balanced, great harmonious structure, silky tannins and a good length.

Pairs well with game and red meats, cured cheeses.


 

Cambon la Pelouse Haut-Medoc 2010 (magnum)

Cambon la Pelouse Haut Medoc is produced from a careful selection of the grapes. Made from 50% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Limited yield: 45 hl/ha.
Aged in oak barrels for 12 months (50% new oak). Intense ruby/purple color. Delicate aromas of red fruit, liquorice, vanilla and caramel. Ripe fruit flavors, well balanced, great harmonious structure, silky tannins and a good length.

Pairs well with game and red meats, cured cheeses.


 

Cambon la Pelouse Haut-Medoc 2012

Cambon la Pelouse Haut Medoc is produced from a careful selection of the grapes. Made from 50% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Limited yield: 45 hl/ha.
Aged in oak barrels for 12 months (50% new oak). Intense ruby/purple color. Delicate aromas of red fruit, liquorice, vanilla and caramel. Ripe fruit flavors, well balanced, great harmonious structure, silky tannins and a good length.

Pairs well with game and red meats, cured cheeses.


Review:

"Big and powerful, this is a concentrated and complex wine. Blackberry fruit flavors are strongly based on a tannin structure that is lightly sustained by the wood aging. Merlot dominates the blend, giving a sheen to its richness. Drink from 2018."
- Wine Enthusiast (May 2015), 91 pts - Editors' Choice

 

 Wine Enthusiast: 91
Chateau Beard La Chapelle Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2012

Appellation: Saint- Emilion

Composition: 90% Merlot,7% Cabernet Franc,3% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging: Ageing is for 12 months.

Tasting Notes: Dark purple in the glass. Aromas of blackcurrant, vanilla and a touch of wood on the nose. At first taste you can tell this wine will take on some age. Rich and layered, but held back due to its youth. Soft tannins blend with black fruit flavors and a touch of mineral on the finish. Drink over the next 7 to 10 years. This vintage is more approachable at an early age then the previous two vintages.

Soil: Limestone-clay on the "côtes" and deep-lying sand on the "pieds de côtes".

Avg Age of Vines: Vines have an average age of 40 years.

Vinification: Grapes are picked by hand and machine, but manually sorted after destemming. The vinification is a traditional with three gentle pumping overs per day and with one or two rack and returns carried out during the period of fermentation. Total time in vat is between 3 to 4 weeks

Awards: 2013 Gilbert & Gaillard Guide - Gold Medal


 
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Michelet Petit Chablis 2017

Golden color. White flowers, fresh, lime and citrus aromas. Pleasant mouthfeel, supple, crisp, fruity flavors.

Machine harvested at full maturity (around Sep. 25th - lasts 12-18 days); pneumatic press; fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for 8-10 days; M.L (2 months after the harvest); aging on the lees until February; racking; fining if necessary; cold stabilization; filtration right before bottling in April.

Ideal as an aperitif, the wine is an excellent companion to seafood.