Dark Horse Merlot 2016 Front Label
Dark Horse Merlot 2016 Front LabelDark Horse Merlot 2016 Front Bottle Shot

Dark Horse Merlot 2016

  • TP90
750ML / 13.5% ABV
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3.7 40 Ratings
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3.7 40 Ratings
750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Dark Horse Merlot has robust flavors with smooth tannins. Rich aromas of dark, jammy blackberries are complemented by toasted oak with a long, plush finish.

Critical Acclaim

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TP 90
Tasting Panel
Winemaker Beth Liston has her Merlot well-trained for performance. Chocolate-scented cherries perfume the nose as fragrant red flowers chime in. The palate is ripe, spicy, and fruit-forward, and notes of heather and mulberry with a hint of red pepper integrate well with toasted oak.
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Dark Horse

Dark Horse

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Dark Horse, California
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At Dark Horse Wines, their passion is crafting bold wines that deliver the unexpected. They marshal the best agricultural and winemaking practices from around the world to guarantee the highest quality.

Dark Horse Winemaker, Beth Liston, believes winemaking is a treasure hunt. She is constantly experimenting with different grape varietals and new winemaking techniques. From bold Red Blend to smooth Chardonnay, her passion for creating exceptional wines that outperform their price is unsurpassed.

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Today the fourth most widely planted red variety in the state, Merlot has much to offer. While it bears similarities to Cabernet Sauvignon (its half-sibling), it tends to be lower in both acidity and tannins, giving Merlot wines a mouthfeel that is often perceived as soft, round and plush. These qualities make it an ideal blending partner for Cabernet, the two complementing each other throughout.

Merlot arrived relatively late to the California wine scene. It wasn’t until the 1970’s when producers like Louis Martini, Sterling and Matanzas Creek—influenced by European Merlot blends—began crafting single varietal versions. These trend-setting bottles opened the eyes of others in the California wine scene and spurred increased plantings. From there, the variety’s lush drinkability led to a surge in popularity, then overplanting (some of it on unsuitable sites) and finally a backlash that was turbo-charged by the infamous 2004 film, Sideways. What most viewers didn't realize was that, as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot with Cabernet Franc.

Fine examples of California Merlot—either as a single varietal wine or as part of a blend—can be found from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, the Central Coast and most regions around the state. Merlot wines offer a ripe, sensual mouthful of plummy fruit, suggestions of mint, herbs and vanilla, all carried along by an approachable structure and often, a great potential for improving with age.

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PBC9180710_2016 Item# 390173

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