Merry Edwards Meredith Estate Pinot Noir 2017
The aroma of this bodacious Pinot captivates us with mouthwatering brambleberry, black raspberry, dark Bing cherry, Santa Rosa plum and ripe stone fruits wrapped in a robe of sweet, vanilla-laced oak. Coffee, cocoa and cola augment a layer of syrupy cassis. Soft, smooth and juicy on entry, the palate broadens into a plush texture that’s bursting with tart cherry, pepper and sweet, ripe tannin's. Graceful in structure, this wine is poised to reveal more of its potential with each passing year. A recipe for Moroccan-Braised Lamb Shanks with Mint and Meyer Lemon Salsa was created by Eli Heller, a chef classically trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Hollywood, Calif. Lamb is a go-to favorite with Meredith Estate Pinot, so this easy yet delicious entrée is a scrumptious pairing.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This was Edwards’ first estate planting, begun in 1998. It shows incredible attention to detail and depth of site, opening with memorable floral, earthy and mineral-laden character. Robust in structure, the dense, youthful power of the wine is robust in an intensity of plum, dark cherry and an intermixed swirl of vanilla and chocolate. It finishes in white pepper and will age beautifully. Enjoy best from 2025–2030.
From a 24-acre site in the Russian River Valley and vines planted in 1996, the 2017 Pinot Noir Meredith Estate is a standout in the lineup and has the most density as well as structure. Deep purple/ruby, with stunning notes of black raspberries, scorched earth, charcoal, crushed violets, and autumn forest floor, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, building tannins, a deep, layered mid-palate, and a great finish. This is straight-up fabulous, and while terrific today, it will be even better with a year or two of bottle age and keep for over a decade. I’d put this up with the top wines in the vintage.
Merry Edwards Winery was founded in 1997 and produces critically acclaimed terroir-driven Pinot Noirs and Sauvignon Blanc using site-specific viticulture in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations. Over two decades, Merry assembled a stellar collection of vineyards and with her meticulous attention to detail crafted Pinot Noirs of immense depth, elegant structure and exceptional longevity. Her Sauvignon Blanc is among the most sought after in the world.
Now a Certified California Sustainable Winery, the brand entered a new chapter after Merry’s retirement. Merry’s handpicked successor, Winemaker Heidi von der Mehden, and Winery President Nicole Carter have taken up exactly where Merry left off and will continue to make wines treasured by legions of Merry Edwards’ fans well into the future.
While the Russian River Valley is a large appellation with multiple climate zones and soil types, it is best known for cool-climate varieties, with Pinot Noir as the most celebrated. The grapes benefit from a reliable late afternoon flow of Pacific Ocean fog through the Petaluma Gap and along the Russian River Valley that ensures slow and steady ripening and the preservation of grape acidity. Today many of California’s most highly regarded Pinot Noir vineyards are in the Russian River Valley, along with its sub-appellation, Green Valley.
Historically Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs had bright red fruit and delicate earthy, mineral notes. But changes in viticultural and winemaking practices have led to stylistic changes in some of the region’s wines. Adjustments to canopy management, among other techniques, have resulted in riper fruit and bolder wines as well. These show flavors of black cherry, blackberry, cola, spice and darker, loamy earth tones, accenting traditional Pinot Noir notes of strawberry, raspberry and light cherry.