Grgich Hills Estate
2009 Napa Valley Merlot
Merlot •Estate Vineyard
California: Napa Valley
Today’s Grgich Hills Estate 2009 Napa Valley Merlot is a dynamite wine from one of our favorite wineries in all of Napa.
This classic Napa Valley Merlot will certainly thrill any red wine fan. Our tasting panel couldn’t get enough, with quite a few panelists clamoring for a bottle to take home with them. The juicy, rich flavors will pair beautifully with any number of meal choices, but the consensus was that anything prepared over a grill would be absolutely sublime.
Please enjoy our heartiest recommendation for today’s Napa Gem. This 94 Pointer is a guaranteed crowd pleaser!
Deep, dark red, like a super ripe black cherry.
A classic Napa Merlot, with juicy dark berries, fresh blueberry, and black raspberry abutting hints of soft brown baking spices, tobacco leaf, berry bramble, and a touch of lavender.
A delight in the glass, with lush, rich flavors just cascading across the palate. Blackberry and blueberry mingle with cedar wood, vanilla bean, mocha powder, fresh forest floor, clove, and a slight kick of black peppercorn.
Delightfully soft and subtle, with a touch of grippy tannin and a wonderful, robust structure.
Rosemary, garlic, and sea salt rubbed New York Strip grilled over charcoal and finished with a drizzle of herbal butter.
What the Winery Says
This is a Cabernet lovers’ Merlot! It’s bright strawberries, cherries, and black pepper with a velvety mouthfeel make you ask for more! The wine’s firm tannins and vibrant acidity create the perfect partner with beef tenderloin, rack of lamb, or roasted pork.
94 Point Review - Wine Review Online 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.
Wine Enthusiast Review This Merlot is so rich and fruity, it’s like an orchard in a bottle. Really gob smacks you with blackberries, cherries, plums and currants, set off with some heat from alcohol. Showcases the sunny ability of Napa Valley to get fruit this ripe.
- Ivo Jeramaz
- 94 Points - Wine Review Online
- Napa Valley
- 100% Estate Vineyard
- Fruit Variety
- 100% Merlot
- 18 months in 100% French oak, 30% new
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.