The 2010 gives everything a Merlot should and more – lively, enticing red fruit with a core of deep, lush black fruit – red cherry and black cheery, red plum and black plum, spice and berry with hints of earth and smoke. This plush package is held together in a structure of fine, ripe tannins.
Flatter Merlot's fruit by adding a similar element of fruit to poultry, pork and meat dishes (duck breast with dried cherry-Merlot sauce, roast chicken with cranberry-wild rice stuffing). Carmelized onions, roasted garlic and mushrooms are pleasant companions.
Blend: 84% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec
"Starting with the Merlots, the 2010 Merlot (a blend of 84% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Malbec) is sensational. Its dense purple color is accompanied by gorgeous aromas of black fruits and chocolate, a sweetness to the tannin and length that almost makes a mockery of Merlots produced elsewhere in Napa, a voluminous, chewy texture and great elegance and purity. Shafer Vineyards appears to have the Midas touch with just about any fruit they receive. The killer 2010 Merlot may be the finest Merlot they have produced in 20-25 years. It should drink well for 10-15 years.
The Wine Advocate
"A delicious entry-level wine, the 2010 Merlot is rich, boisterous and loaded with fruit. Freshly cut flowers, sweet red berries, mint and spices all make an appearance in this flashy, exuberant red. The vibrancy of the vintage works to balance some of the wine's natural overtness. Clean, saline notes add an attractive briskness to the finish. This is a gorgeous wine that makes a compelling case for Merlot-based wines in Napa Valley. The 2010 is 84% Merlot, 10% Cabernet and 6% Malbec, a variety that seems to add a little extra juiciness, always welcome in a wine meant to be enjoyed upon release."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni
"Supple and rich, with ripe cherry and toasty oak aromas that lead to soft and elegant currant, dried herb and mocha flavors. Drink now through 2018. 7,900 cases made."