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Ratings and Reviews


Napa Valley

201692 PointsAntonio Galloni, Vinous Media
The 2016 Merlot RCF Vineyard is powerful and also surprisingly intense, with a little more structure than I am used to seeing in this wine. Not that that is a bad thing at all. Dark red cherry, mocha, leather, licorice and espresso notes are boldly rendered in this juicy, super-expressive Merlot. Dollops of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot round out the blend.
201592 PointsAntonio Galloni, Vinous Media
2015 RCF Vineyard is plump, juicy and absolutely delicious. Ripe red cherry and raspberry fruit are pushed forward in a succulent, expressive Merlot that surprises with its freshness and overall finesse. Dollops of Malbec and Cabernet Franc round out the blend. This is very nicely done.
201492 PointsAntonio Galloni, Vinous Media
The 2014 Merlot RCF Vineyard is fruity, forward and expressive, with lovely savory overtones and plenty of aromatic nuance. Beams of supporting tannin give the wine its shape and overall proportion. Dark red cherry, plum, spice and new leather are nicely pushed forward. Far from an easygoing wine, this is a Merlot with structure, not to mention considerable pedigree and depth.
201392 PointsAntonio Galloni, Vinous Media
The 2013 Merlot RCF Vineyard is racy, sensual and totally sexy. Dark red cherry, mocha, new leather and spice are all pushed forward. This is an especially succulent, open-knit 2013 that should drink well with minimal cellaring. Sweet floral and spice notes add an attractive element of lift on the close. The RCF is a blend of 78% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon taken from 8 blocks of estate vineyards in Calistoga.
200290 PointsSteven Tanzer, Vinous Media
Ruby-red. Aromas of plum, iron, tobacco and dried flowers, with a menthol coolness. Intensely flavored, juicy and cool, with flavors of raspberry and mint. Finishes with broad tannins that coat the lips and cheeks. A fairly large-scaled merlot with plenty of personality.
200289-91 PointsSteven Tanzer, Vinous Media
Good deep red. Aromas of cherry, raspberry, tobacco, menthol and flowers. Sweetly spicy flavors of red fruits, licorice and mint. Not at all a blockbuster but moderately dense, bright and ripe. Finishes with big, dusty tannins and good persistence. Showing well today.
200189 PointsSteven Tanzer, Vinous Media
High-pitched aromas of cherry, graphite, black licorice and eucalyptus. A juicy, penetrating midweight, with lively flavors of red berries, cedar and mint. Bright acids give the wine definition and class.
200191-93 PointsSteven Tanzer, Vinous Media
Good saturated deep ruby. Vibrant aromas of black raspberry, bitter chocolate and smoky oak. Like the best 2001s, this boasts the near-confectionery sweetness of the vintage, but lively acids give shape to the crystallized black raspberry flavor. Densely packed merlot, finishing with big but even tannins and excellent length.
200091 PointsSteven Tanzer, Vinous Media
Bright ruby-red. Aromas of raspberry, menthol, licorice and tar. Sweet and creamy but serious, with dense, well-defined flavors of dark raspberry, tobacco leaf and fresh herbs. A fairly large-scaled but sappy merlot, finishing with lovely ripe tannins and excellent length.
200089-92 PointsSteven Tanzer, Vinous Media
Medium ruby. Aromas of blueberry, lead pencil and flint, along with a slight leafy quality. Sweet, fat and chewy, with pliant flavors of cassis and minerals. Persistent and lush on the back end, with ripe tannins.
199990 PointsSteven Tanzer, Vinous Media
(includes 20% cabernet franc) Bright medium ruby. Enticing aromas of blackberry, cassis, bitter chocolate, licorice and jasmine. Intense dark berry flavors offer excellent freshness. Firmly tannic, youthfully fruity merlot with serious structure.
199990 PointsRobert Parker's, The Wine Advocate
This winery consistently does a fine job with Merlot. The 1999 Merlot RCF Vineyard (80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc; 470 cases) is performing better out of bottle than it did from cask. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by aromas of sweet fudge, cola, smoke, earth, and black fruits. It is medium to full-bodied, sweet, and lush, with excellent purity and length. It will drink well for 7-8 years.
199290 PointsRobert Parker's, The Wine Advocate
The 1992 Merlot RCF Vineyard (a vineyard situated near the famed Eisele Vineyard in northern Napa Valley) is a super-intense, chocolatey, black-cherry-scented Merlot that is bursting with flavor, glycerin, and alcohol. This rich, chewy, sumptuous Merlot is even better from bottle than the cask sample I reviewed in issue #92. Expansive and round, it offers an up-front, flattering style. Drink it over the next 10-12 years.