2010 Merryvale Carneros Pinot Noir

SKU #1094270 92 points Wine Enthusiast

 It's impossible to exaggerate the yummy factor of this silky, fruity Pinot Noir. While it has pleasant acidity, it’s the raspberry, cherry, cinnamon and brown-sugar flavors that make it so appealing to drink now.  (4/2013)

K&L Notes

The 2010 was the coolest California vintage since 1972, making for some hard work in the vineyards that resulted in some really complex, lower-in-alcohol wines. This was especially true in already-cool regions like Carneros. Merryvale's 2010 comes in at 13.5% ABV (down from 14.3% in 2009 and 14.8% in 2008), but it still displays the concentrated fruit that the estate is known for. All of the grapes come from Stanly Ranch and the wine was aged for a year in 44% new French oak. The 2010 is brimming with strawberry and cherry aromas punctuated by scents of Earl grey tea, cardamom, mushroom and toast that carry over to the generous palate. The wine is fleshy, but focused, with more moutwatering acidity than usual, which can be attributed to the vintage. Drink now and over the next few years.

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Price: $29.99
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Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/30/2012 | Send Email
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A great wine from Merryvale in a very challenging year. A few cool summer means this wine is lighter in weight and alcohol than previous vintages, however a heat spike in late august brought on ripeness for people who had shown careful management in the vineyard. This Pinot is from a single vineyard in Carneros. It shows bright red fruits and spice. The palate is concentrated and rich despite its elegant texture. The wine finishes with a nice zippy acid making it a very food friendly CA Pinot.

Additional Information:


Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

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:


- Just across the Golden Gate from San Francisco, Carneros is kept cool by Bay breezes and thick fog, and has long been famous for cool-climate pinot noir, chardonnay and sparkling wine based on the two varietals. Warmer pockets have proved interesting and promising homes for syrah, cabernet and merlot.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5