Markham Merlot 2016
This showstopper has a lovely balance of candied cherry laced with dark chocolate aromas. Floral fruit runs from strawberry preserves to boysenberry and is accented with an assortment of baking spices. The velvety entry melts like chocolate on your palate providing a silky but dense mouthfeel with a long, intense finish. Hard to imagine there isn't anything with which this wine wouldn't pair, but slow-braised short ribs on a bed of buttery mash must be top of the most decadent list
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2016 Merlot is blended of 85% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petite Sirah and 1% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple colored, it has a very pretty , fragrant nose of warm plums, boysenberries and blueberry tart plus hints of baking spices, lavender and dusty earth. Full-bodied, rich and spicy in the mouth, it has great intensity and plush, ripe tannins, finishing wonderfully decadent.
In 1976, industry pioneer Bruce Markham acquired his first 230 acres of Napa Valley vineyards and founded Markham Vineyards the following year. In 1980, Markham crafted its first vintage of Napa Valley Merlot—becoming only the fourth winery in Napa Valley to make varietal Merlot—and a decade later, Markham’s flagship bottling was named “Merlot of the Year” by Wine Spectator.
Today, Markham Vineyards continues to be recognized for making benchmark Napa Valley Merlots, as well as acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. As Markham’s winemaker since 2001, Kimberlee Nicholls’s artistry, innovative spirit and encyclopedic knowledge of winegrowing and winemaking has helped Markham Vineyards earn countless accolades, and an enduring place as one of Napa Valley’s great wineries. With a gifted palate, Kim crafts wines of uncommon character and vineyard-inspired complexity from Markham’s 350 acres of Napa Green certified sustainable estate vineyards in Yountville, Oak Knoll and Calistoga. Markham proudly holds the Napa Green Land, Napa Green Winery, and Fish Friendly Farming certifications.
Markham practices sustainability without sacrificing quality. For Markham, sustainability starts in the field and focuses on environmentally beneficial land management practices. Some of Markham’s sustainability practices include:
• Protecting the Napa River Watershed
• Water conservation in the vineyards and the winery
• Reduce carbon footprint
• Partnering with local suppliers for wine materials
• Partner with local recycling center to reduce landfill impact
• Certifications include ‘Green Certified’ by Napa Green , Fish Friendly Farming ®.
As Napa Valley’s third most planted grape, Napa Valley Merlot shows time and time again its potential to produce exceptional results. Napa’s vaunted combination of climate, soil and the human factor of winemaking expertise lead to big, ripe, cellar-worthy and world-class versions.
Whether made by itself in single varietal bottlings or as an important role in Bordeaux Blends, Merlot continues a prominent role in this famous region. While Cabernet typically takes the lead role, Merlot’s contribution—even at 10% to 20% or so—is significant indeed. Often described as “the flesh on Cabernet’s bones,” Merlot lends a soft, round and plush character that beautifully complements Cabernet’s linear, full-throttle structure. Its flavors of plums plus subtle herbs and mint also dovetail nicely with Cabernet’s blackberry and cassis.