2006 Havens Napa Valley Merlot (Previously $20)

SKU #1053296

Now closed after a run of 15 or so years of wonderful wines, this HEAVILY discounted Napa Merlot is a crazy steal. As Robert Parker wrote: "Mike Havens, working out of a warehouse in the city of Napa, appears to have settled into an admirable pattern, producing richer and richer Merlots." The 2006 Merlot is delicous right now. A bit softer and rounder than the Cabernet that sold so well last month, it shows excellent balance and a lush, lingering finish. A great buy at this price! (Trey Beffa, K&L Wine Merchants) The 2006 Havens Merlot reminds me of a young St-Emilion or Côtes de Castillon. With its pleasing ripe nose of roasted meats, cassis, rhubarb and new leather, with a nice spiciness, this is very French in its approach. The palate is understated, far from being the syrupy monster that Merlot has become here in the US, with cherry fruit and more savory notes of cedar, tobacco and fried sage all encapsulated in a cocoa-y shell. The finish is long and echoes on the palate after it is gone with flavors of oak toast, Kalamata olive black currant and redwood. This is serious wine with plenty of structure and density, far from the many one-trick-ponies in the under-$10-Merlot category. Pick up a case, there is no rush to drink it being that it will only get better over the 5-6 years, but at $6.99 there is no shame if you don't wait that long. (Bryan Brick, K&L)

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Price: $6.99
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Staff Image By: Christie Brunick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/9/2010 | Send Email
I'm so happy I just bought a case of this wine because wow, it is a great Tuesday night wine! Although a bit alcoholic when it's first opened, but wait 15 to 20 min and oh my does it just end up melting away into fleshy, pure bliss filled with dark fruit, chocolate, spice and a touch of oak. I drank the whole bottle over dinner, it was that easy!

By: Stan | Review Date: 3/6/2010
Haven't opened a bottle yet. For this price, I bought is as a cooking wine. Should give nice body to my braised short ribs (2btls/4lbs meat). Then I'll open a nice full-bodied Pomerol to go with the dish.

By: RaiderRoy | Review Date: 3/3/2010
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I've only opened one bottle. Most of the reviews are correct, let it breathe a couple of hours then the alcohol subsides and the fruit takes over. Come on people, if a bottle is actually corked or cooked, don't keep drinking it, cork it back up and bring it back to K&L. I'm sure they will give you a refund or a least store credit. Most $6.99 wines won't get better with age; this will.

By: Mikelito | Review Date: 2/25/2010
I find it very amusing that there are users who are STILL recommending to let this wine breathe. I wonder if they will take the time to comment on one of the SPOILED bottles that happen to be bad from the moment they opened it, and that only got WORSE as they let it breathe… Again, this wine is great, but only if you got a bottle that wasn't damaged… Good luck on that one!!! I open 4 bottles, only the 1st one (from the 1st Batch that K & L sold) was good. The other 3 were just undrinkable… Oh, and for the record, I did let ALL of them Breathe for hours… Not worth the disappointment… K & L has much better values, that are FAR more consistent, and tasty, for the same price, or around $10.

By: Count Valmont | Review Date: 2/24/2010
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Please allow at least 30-40 minutes to breathe. The wine will then show its true flavors.Well balanced with a smooth finish. Hints of blueberry & strawberry on the finishing note.
Drink from 2010 to 2015

By: Fritz Hottenstein | Review Date: 2/17/2010
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So far not impressed. Have only opened one bottle out of the case, so maybe it was bad but was expecting more from the description. Will let the next one breath a bit more and see if that makes a difference.

By: Matt Esq. | Review Date: 2/13/2010
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This might just be the most controversial wine in K&L history. I must've gotten some of the good bottles. Nice QPR.

By: Joseph Mozdzen | Review Date: 2/5/2010
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Can't comment on the people who say this is all over the board yet as I have only opened one bottle as of yet. And this one is better than I had expected. I think those who didn't like it, drank it right out of the bottle. Make no mistake; this is a big wine. I am drinking it now, the 2nd day it's been open it's perfect right now. It is a little heavy on the alcohol but it blows off after a while.

By: Ryan Anderson | Review Date: 2/1/2010
Bought a case... loved it for the price. Bought six more cases, then 6 more cases, a total of 13 cases for everyday drinking wine. I've opened at least 20 bottles and all have been consistent and good. Fully worth it!

By: ROBERt-o | Review Date: 1/31/2010
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Hard to figure the writeup. Tasted like a trader JOES special for $2.99 and even then I think one could find better. Not one of K&L's best deals to say the least. 2 bottles tried, immature, alcoholic pretty generic red. Maybe a lot of bottle variation, but not worth $6.99 by any means

By: KLF | Review Date: 1/30/2010
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Tried two bottles from two different purchases. Quality varies from bottle to bottle, hence I think they set the price at $7 so you can afford to have a few bad ones in a case and not be irate with the shop. But I just gotta say to K&L - please be transparent about some of these wines you are selling off. If there are quality inconsistencies, just say so, or else don't sell the lot of wine to begin with. We can go to Grocery Outlet if we want to play roulette with low cost wine.

By: PC | Review Date: 1/22/2010
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Nice daily drinking wine for $6.99. It need time to breath, give it 30 mins and it should be wonderful to drink. What a bargain!

By: JWF | Review Date: 1/21/2010
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If any of you want to understand the difference of that next level of wines, I suggest that you find a way to get some of this. It is a legitimate $20.00/ bottle of wine and a perfect wine for me to convince you doubters about giving wine time to breathe. If you take a sip of this wine when you first open it and then wait for 3 hours to drink anymore of it you won't believe the transformation. It remains good the second day. I can't tell you how it is on the third day as no bottle has lasted that long :)
This is REAL wine.
Drink from 2010 to 2015

By: Rob K | Review Date: 1/18/2010
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not sure about the scoring system...
this is hit or miss, apparently Billington had some issues when they sold off their inventory...

bought several cases, intending to store some, thought came out of the bottle too early; not a big fan

with that said, some bottles might have been "cooked" temperature damaged somewhere along the chain...(as others have said in other online reviews)

some bottles were very syrupy, and alcohol heavy, would say they are not even close to the listed alcohol content as stated on the bottle

some bottles that did open up were oaky, almost an herbal finish with a hint of tea..

Based on the price, if you are a merlot drinker, not bad (not great either)..You could easily find better Napa Merlot and fruit; however not in this price-point! Some WA State Merlots from Columbia Valley blow this away in the $10 range! just my opinion!

Was a huge fan of their Black and Blue!!!

Additional Information:



- A very popular red grape variety found in the great wines of St. Emilion and Pomerol. It is the most planted variety in Bordeaux, and it has also become an extremely fashionable red in many regions including California. Although it has a reputation to be smooth, and easy to drink when young, Merlot is also capable of producing extremely intense wines as well. It is often used as a blending agent with Cabernet Sauvignon.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5