St. Francis Reserve Merlot 2016  Front Label
St. Francis Reserve Merlot 2016  Front LabelSt. Francis Reserve Merlot 2016  Front Bottle Shot

St. Francis Reserve Merlot 2016

  • JD94
  • TP93
  • RP92
  • WE90
750ML / 15.2% ABV
Other Vintages
  • RP92
  • JD92
  • WS91
  • WE90
  • RP90
  • RP94
  • WE90
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4.8 48 Ratings
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4.8 48 Ratings
750ML / 15.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Reserve Merlot shows off the rich flavor and balanced acidity that comes from ideal Sonoma Valley conditions. Abundant aromas of dark red fruits and French Roast coffee merge with mocha, blackberry and cherry preserve flavors, finishing smooth and slightly spicy.

Blend: 77% Merlot, 23% Malbec

Critical Acclaim

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JD 94
Jeb Dunnuck

Including 23% Malbec, the 2016 Merlot Reserve is brilliant and offers a vivid purple/ruby color as well as a smoking bouquet of black cherries, cassis, tobacco, smoke earth, and cedary spice, Full-bodied, rounded, supple and seamless, it has polished tannin, beautiful purity, and a great finish. It's a rockingly good Merlot from this estate to enjoy over the coming 7-8 years.

TP 93
Tasting Panel

Wonderful sensations occur in this creamy-dreamy textured red with 23% Malbec blended in. Chocolate and plum on the nose lead to cherry, oak, and sandalwood as melted chocolate, licorice, and hints of black olive add additional layers to the opulent, dark red fruit. Chili powder seasons the earthy finish.

RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

The 2016 Merlot Reserve, deep ruby-purple in the glass, is intensely scented of cassis, black plum, blueberries and blackberries with notes of blackcurrant bud, cedar, clove and violet. Medium to full-bodied, it's bold and broody in the mouth with firm, grainy tannins and satisfying freshness to lift the long, sweet-spice finish. Give this another couple of years in bottle. 510 cases produced.

WE 90
Wine Enthusiast

Thick, rich and spicy, this wine is robust in tannin structure and powerfully dense black fruit. For fans of a fuller style, it delivers plenty of concentration around accents of leather, clove and cigar.

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St. Francis

St. Francis Winery

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St. Francis Winery, California
St. Francis Winery Katie Madigan - St. Francis Winemaker  Winery Image

For more than four decades, the wines of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards have reflected the finest mountain and valley vineyards in Sonoma County. Our founder, Joe Martin, fell in love with Sonoma Valley and established St. Francis Vineyard in 1971, planting 22 acres of Chardonnay and the first 60 acres of Merlot in Sonoma Valley. After achieving great success as a grower, Joe opened his own winery in 1979 with his business partner Lloyd Canton.

Today, a new generation of winemakers, Katie Madigan and Chris Louton, continues our long tradition of luscious, elegant, fruit-driven wines from Sonoma County grapes. We farm more than 400 acres of Certified Sustainable estate vineyards in Sonoma Valley and Russian River Valley, each with varying compositions of loam, clay and volcanic soils. We also nurture long-term relationships with top Sonoma County grape growers, giving the Winery access to some of the region's most coveted old vines Zinfandel and other varietals from acclaimed vineyards.

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Sonoma Valley Wine

Sonoma County, California

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Perhaps the most historically significant appellation in Sonoma County, the Sonoma Valley is home to both Buena Vista winery, California's oldest commercial winery, and Gundlach Bundschu winery, California's oldest family-run winery.

It is also one of the more geologically and climactically diverse districts. The valley includes and overlaps four distinct Sonoma County sub-appellations, including Carneros, Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Mountain and Bennett Valley. With mountains, benchlands, plains, abundant sunshine and the cooling effects of the nearby Pacific, this appellation can successfully produce a wide range of grape varieties. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, and most notably, Zinfandel all thrive here. Ancient Zinfandel vines over 100 years old produce small crops of concentrated, spicy fruit, which in turn make some of the Valley's most unique wines. These can also be made as “field blends” (wines made from a mix of grape varieties grown in the same vineyard) along with Petite Sirah, Carignan and Alicante Bouschet.

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With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

RPT32560403_2016 Item# 525326

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