2012 Thomas Coyne Livermore Valley Merlot

SKU #1247272

Back in August of last year I was approached by Anne Marie Coyne-Kashkooli, the daughter of Thomas Coyne, who was curious if we were interested in buying a large lot from the Thomas Coyne Winery. To hear that name was a blast from the past for me. For years before I came to K&L I sold the wines out of a little shop in Berkeley that I helped run, and they were always wildly popular with our customers. They were wines of zero pretense, full of charm and ease--so I was all ears. Turned out Thomas, who had been the moving force of the winery, had passed away, and the family decided not to continue the business. I hadn't had the wines in years. Thomas loved making wine and finding great vineyards in not-so-famous areas, but he wasn't much for pounding the pavement and selling his wines outside of the winery. Tasting the wines again I was reminded of why they were always so successful: they are great table wines with enough fruit and exuberance to drink as cocktail wines; they are spot on for their varietals; and they have so much verve and unassuming beauty. So Anne Marie and I worked through all of the details, and we've selected a handful of wines that we think our customers will love. The kicker is we are bringing all of these wines to you for deeply discounted prices! (Bryan Brick, K&L)

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Price: $14.99
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By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/22/2016 | Send Email
One of the great surprises when I originally tasted the Coyne wines last year was just how good the two offerings of Merlot were. I couldn’t help but think that if more Merlot were made like this in California, and other regions around the world, that more people wouldn’t have lost interest in it in the first place. In a lot of ways Merlot became the Chardonnay of red wines with winemakers overloading the grape with so much “technique” that the grape lost its soul along the way. Thomas Coyne realized what made the grape work in the first place-it’s naturally fruity/savory interplay and it’s mid-weighted flesh that works with just about anything at any time.
The plum, blueberry, cassis and chocolate sprinkle aromas that surround the core of savory herbal components instantly told me that this is serious, yet fun, wine that had more in common with old-school Right Bank Bordeaux than Napa Valley. Ripe and fleshy with a soft and pliable mid-palate this is completely varietal driven with its blue/black fruits and subtle acidity. Coffee bean, crushed blueberries, wild berry and touches of blood, gravel and chaparral combine in a truly fun a delicious Merlot. When is that last time someone said that?!?

By: Stephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/22/2016 | Send Email
Thomas Coyne delivers yet again with his 2012 Merlot out of Livermore Valley. Ripe berry, plum and cherry fruits are expressed on the nose along with bits of earth and herbs. This complex Merlot finishes strongly with tannin and oak that is not at all overbearing. Drinkable now and is sure to please a wide array of palates!

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.


- 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.
Specific Appellation:


- Just east of San Francisco, among an ever-sprawling suburban landscape, Livermore produces the usual suspects with a concentration on hearty grapes like cabernet and zin, which can withstand the screaming summer heat.