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At Merriam Vineyards, in Sonoma County, their wines are inspired by traditional French styles of farming and winemaking. They focus on delivering vineyard-designated wines that are truly unique and do so with a commitment to sustainable farming practices and environmental stewardship. Here’s what our tasting panel had to say about a half-dozen of the wineries current offerings:

Merrium_Chard_Bacigalupi_13

Merriam Vineyards 2013 “Bacigalupi” Chardonnay

Grape(s): 100% Chardonnay

Region: Russian River Valley, California

Price: 45-50

Tasting Notes:

Fragrances of peach, guava, mango, and caramel greet the senses. The palate showcases flavors of stone and tropical fruits, alongside accents of citrus blossoms, caramel, and minerals. Lush with a friendly acidity, enjoy a bottle with crab cakes. 120 cases produced.

Rating: 90

Merriam_SauvBlanc_Danielle_14

Merriam Vineyards 2014 “Danielle” Sauvignon Blanc

Grape(s): 94% Sauvignon Blanc & 6% Semillon

Region: Russian River Valley, California

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

Notes of tropical fruit, apricot, and honeydew combine with suggestions of spring flowers and honey on the nose. With a sip, flavors of stone fruits, melons, and mangoes unfurl into whispers of orange blossoms and lemon zest. An opulent, floral Sauv Blanc, open a bottle with your favorite white fish. 420 cases were made.

Rating: 89

Merriam_PinotNoir_Estate_13

Merriam Vineyards 2013 Pinot Noir

Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir

Region: Russian River Valley, California

Price: 35-40

Tasting Notes:

Strawberry and plum aromas play with hints of vanilla, floral earth, and black tea on the nose. A sip reveals flavors of ripe strawberries, cherries, and plums, along with nuances of all-spice, vanilla, and earth. A welcoming acidity and soft tannins make grilled salmon a fine pairing for this wine. 110 cases produced.

Rating: 88

Merriam_Miktos_09

Merriam Vineyards 2009 “Miktos” Red Blend

Grape(s): 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc, & 5% Petite Verdot

Region: Sonoma County, California

Price: 45-50

Tasting Notes:

A bouquet of black cherries, earthy bramble fruit, tobacco, and herbs rises up from a glass. The palate delivers flavors of blackberry, cherry, and cassis, which open up into whispers of cocoa, cigar box, and all-spice. With elegant fruit and soft tannins, a mushroom risotto would make a ideal paring. 125 cases were made.

Rating: 88

Merriam_CabSauv_Windacre_11

Merriam Vineyards 2011”Windcare” Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Sonoma County, California

Price: 30-35

Tasting Notes:

The nose offers aromas of plums, bing cherries, and boysenberries, as well as elements of sweet spice, dark chocolate, and earth. Cherry, plum, and currant flavors emerge on the palate, accented by notes of all-spice, earth, and oak. A plush Cab with smooth tannins, enjoy a glass with your homemade meatloaf. 347 cases produced.

Rating: 89

2014 Late Harvest SB

Merriam Vineyards 2014 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc

Grape(s): 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Region: Russian River Valley, California

Price: 20-25

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of apricots and tropical fruits meld with suggestions of orange blossoms and lemon custard on the nose. Flavors of apricot, mango, and sweet pineapple come together with highlights of candied orange and creamy vanilla on the palate. Luscious, round, and indulgently sweet, a pineapple upside-down cake would make a fine companion. Only 50 cases were made.

Rating: 90