Sultry and rich, with smoky raspberry and herbs, dried strawberry and plum puree with caramelized sugar. Swirling brings up intoxicating notes of currants, plum skin, strawberry, lightly roasted coffee and fresh crème. The palate has great volume with fresh red fruits and spice buffered by incredibly tactile tannins that stretch the palate out forever. Simply stunning.
Braised lamb with roasted potatoes
"The 2016 Merlot Reserve (91% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc) offers lots of red and black fruits as well as notes of chocolate and spice in a plump, rounded, flamboyant style that’s a joy to drink. This sumptuous, medium to full-bodied effort has subtle background oak, no hard edges, and a great finish."
93 points, Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com
"Deep medium ruby. Lively scents of blackberry, blueberry, licorice, herbs and graphite. A distinct step up in sweetness from the basic 2016 Merlot bottling, offering a silky texture but also excellent precision and floral lift to the fruit-driven flavors of red currant, raspberry, blueberry and spices. This suave, energetic, fine-grained wine finishes with noble tannins and excellent floral persistence. Very clever use of some Cabernet Franc here!"
92 points, Stephen Tanzer, Vinous
"Coming from a barrel selection, it has aromas of freshly brewed coffee, raspberry, sandalwood, fresh herb and pencil lead forming the core. Exquisitely balanced flavors follow, with the rich texture and velvety tannins heightening the appeal. It should have a long life ahead of it."
91 points, Sean Sullivan, Wine Enthusiast
"Blended with 9% Cabernet Franc, the 2016 Merlot Reserve Columbia Valley begins with a red-fruited heart with a deep concentration of fruit, oak and subtle elements of smoked herbs and delicate red flowers that waft out of the glass. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is clean and correct, with the firm mid-palate that delivers rich, ripe and slightly tart fruits compounded by oak spices and a thoughtful structure with lifting tannins. Flavors of plum and dusty chocolate line the mouth on the long, lingering finish. 1,410 cases produced. This is a tasty Merlot."
91 points, Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate