Don’t forget Pahlmeyer. Shafer makes a nice one as well. And +whatever on Paloma.
The answer is probably “a vineyard currently planted to Cabernet Sauvignon.”
Opened a 2008 Paloma Merlot last night that was really nice. Raspberry, strawberry, chocolate still many years left on this. So I would vote for them as well.
I really like the Buccella Merlot made from Hyde Vineyard grapes.
A very respected winemaker, who churns out 96-100pt wines (from Parker and Galloni), once told me that this Bancroft vineyard was special and that Beringer made some fantastic merlots from here in the mid-1990’s. Just last week I found one on a wine list at a restaurant in Chicago for $110. It was a 1995 Beringer Merlot Bancroft Ranch. What a great wine! really nice fruit and tannin structure for a 20 year old wine. I was very impressed.
Outside of the Bancroft, the only Merlot vineyard I have had recently was from Kapcsandy and their Roberta’s Reserve is always top notch.
Funny that nobody has mentioned Two Palms…or are there three now??
Winery Lake vineyard in Carneros grew some excellent Merlot before Sterling bought it…don t know what s happening there.
Carneros is very good for Merlot.
Yeah and isn’t Carneros where Havens sourced Merlot from? I’ve also had some nice examples of Carneros Merlot from Cuvaison.
Hudson H Block.
Paloma. Neighbor Pride (also on the western side of Napa) on Spring Mountain has a bit too much cherry vanilla oak syrup for me. Paloma has dialed it back over the years while Pride keeps it dialed up IMHO.
Chappellet on Pritchard Hill always has had great mountain fruit from the other (eastern) side of Napa.
For valley floor fruit, Ehlers rarely goes wrong. A very cool bonus: profits go to support cardiovascular research!
I have to go with the vineyards used for Palmeyer, Blankiet and Kapcsandy.
Certainly Pride and Switchback, but one not yet mentioned is Hourglass. Their merlot is wonderful.
I personally love the merlot that grows at Larkmead and, as much as I enjoy their Firebelle cuvee, I do wish they still bottled some all by itself. The 2002 version was terrific 5-6 years ago, although I think it’s over the hill at this point.
I wonder if they sell any merlot grapes to anyone…?