Grgich Hills Estate
2009 Napa Valley Merlot
Merlot •Estate Grown
California: Napa Valley
As good as it gets
Today’s Grgich Hills Estate 2009 Napa Valley Merlot is a shining example of just how good this varietal can be. Our old friends at Grgich Hills Estate have blown us away once again!
Elegant and refined, yet with plenty of dark fruit and sweet earth, this wine is beautifully balanced and deliciously layered. The flavor profile is very reminiscent of a classic Napa Cab, and why we believe any wine lover would absolutely adore this Merlot.
Wines like this 94 Point gem don’t come around too often. We highly recommend taking advantage and stocking up on this world-class Merlot!
A deep scarlet throughout the glass, nearly perfectly opaque in the very center with a lighter red edge.
Aromatic, with a lovely balance of fruit and earth. Sweet plum and raspberry are laid overtop notes of sandalwood, fresh berry bramble, aged cigar box, white peppercorn, rosemary, and sage.
Elegant, almost luxurious on the palate, with dark fruit flavors of sweet plum and blackberry overlapping hints of espresso bean, sweet tobacco leaf, thyme, and subtle black peppercorn.
Smooth and supple upon entry and finish, this is one delightful Merlot. Elegant and refined, this is a wine that any Cab lover would adore.
Grilled venison served with a tart cherry-balsamic reduction.
What the Winery Says
Our cool climate Merlot comes from our vineyards in southern Napa Valley grown within sight of the San Francisco Bay. We blended in a small amount of Merlot from our warmer upper Napa Valley vineyards to craft a complex, balanced wine. Committed to natural wine growing and sustainability, we farm our five estate vineyards without artificial fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides and they are certified organic and Biodynamic®.
94 Point Review - Robert Whitley The current vintage of Grgich Merlot is a yet another example of how this remarkable winery has succeeded while going against the conventional wisdom over these past three decades. The approach is decidely Old World, evidenced by the fact that with all of its wines Grgich is a vintage or two behind its neighbors in the Napa Valley, choosing to give its wines additional bottle age before releasing them to market. The use of wild (indigenous) yeasts to ferment its wines is common in Europe, but frowned upon in most U.S. precincts, where cultured yeasts are the norm. The wines are always impeccably balanced and among the most cellar-worthy made in the United States. In my cellar I have Grgich Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from the early 1990s that are in superb condition, with many more years left in an already long life. So I look at the 2009 Grgich Merlot two ways. In the moment it is a beautiful wine that exhibits firm structure, inviting aromas of red and black fruits with hints of savory spices, and it’s a steal at the price. On the other hand, I can’t wait to taste it again in a dozen years or more.
- Ivo Jeramaz
- 94 Points - Robert Whitley
- Napa Valley, California
- Fruit Variety
- 100% Merlot
- 18 months in French oak
About the Winery
Miljenko “Mike” Grgich first gained a reputation as one of the greatest winemakers in the world at the celebrated “Paris Tasting” of 1976. Eminent French judges chose Mike’s 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay as the finest white wine in the world. Mon Dieu!
The Paris Tasting served notice to the world that the California wine industry was on the move, and it laid the groundwork for the creation of Grgich Hills Cellar. Today, we remain committed to making distinctive wines with quality, consistency and longevity. We are proud that world leaders such as Presidents Reagan and Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II and French President François Mitterrand chose our wines to serve at state dinners, but we are just as proud that every single day discriminating wine drinkers count on Grgich Hills to turn their own dinners into special occasions.
Winemaker Ivo Jeramaz
Ivo was born in Croatia to a family of grape growers and as boy he assisted in making wine for his family’s enjoyment. In 1986, with the help of his uncle, Miljenko “Mike” Grgich, Ivo followed his dream and came to Napa Valley.
He quickly fell in love with the scenic beauty of the area and became fascinated with wine making. During his almost-three decades at Grgich Hills Ivo has worked his way up in responsibility, learning the classic style and art of winemaking from his uncle, supported by the tools of science and technology.
While he has taken enology and viticulture courses at UC Davis, Ivo says, “I’ve learned more working in the vineyards and in the winery with Mike.” Under the guidance of his uncle, Ivo is now responsible for the day-to-day operations in the cellar and the vineyard.
“At Grgich Hills, we grow grapes like my grandfather did, farming without chemicals and pesticides,” Ivo says. “Mike taught me early in my career that you need great grapes to make great wine. Over the years, I’ve focused on working with the land. Through our natural farming, it’s been very rewarding to see the soil alive with healthier plants than under conventional farming. It allows the wines to be more authentic—more distinctive.”
Since 2003, our vineyards have been in full production, and our wines are 100% estate-grown, produced, and bottled. We have 366 total acres planted in five vineyards that form a string of pearls running through the heart of Napa Valley: American Canyon, Carneros, Yountville, Rutherford, and Calistoga.
Each has its own unique climate, and we have carefully chosen the varietals best-suited for each vineyard’s terroir. Because our vineyards are so vital to the success of our winemaking, we put great emphasis on being thoughtful stewards of our land and vines. We have done so for more than 30 years, and that is one primary reason why Grgich Hills has consistently produced award-winning wines that are enjoyed across America and all around the world.
Sustainable Farming Practices
Our guiding philosophy is quite simple: great wines always begin with exceptional fruit. Committed to natural winegrowing and sustainability, we farm our five estate vineyards without artificial fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides, and they are all Certified Organic.