Godwin Family Vineyards

2001 Alexander Valley Merlot

Merlot •Moss Oak Vineyard

California: Sonoma County: Alexander Valley

Offer Expired:Oct 04, 2007 at 11:59 pm
Avg. Price

What We Say

TOP SECRET SPECIAL: Free Shipping on orders of six or more bottles. Use the promotion code SPYSHIP during checkout.

SPECIAL NOTE: This is a wine that has only recently been released. With the numerous awards that it has been winning, there was only a small quantity available to us. Please be sure to pick up this superb Merlot while we still have some on hand!

Mission Codename: Goodbye Pinot, Hello Merlot!

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Destroy the Hollywood myth that Merlot has lost its luster and that Pinot is the new king of wine – by spying a killer California Merlot

Mission Status: Accomplished

Current Winery: Godwin Family Vineyards

Wine Subject: 2001 Alexander Valley Merlot


The movie, Sideways, singlehandedly brought Merlot sales to a virtual halt in the U.S. While we love Pinot Noir, as do the characters in the movie, we also love Merlot. Especially ones as fantastic as this one!

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Deepest ruby red, with crystalline edges and long thin legs

Smell – Big and ripe stone fruit, blackberry and raspberry jam, with a hint of earthy oak

Feel – Very balanced in the mouth. Sweet up front, then medium tannins nibble at the mid-tongue and the top of the mouth

Taste – Big fruit with blackberry, raspberry and plum, followed by raspberry jam

Finish – Long-lasting, all over mouth flavors and tannins that taper off beautifully

Conclusion – Whoever said Merlot was passé has obviously never tried this Merlot! It’s very easy to see why this wine has won SO MANY awards. It is superb and we love it. Merlot has, at last, been redeemed!

Mission Report:
The mission was simple, investigate wineries around Sonoma and Napa counties and retrieve an incredible Merlot and a great price. This, in order to turn the opinion of some that Merlot was no longer the great wine that it once was. This opinion, sadly, is as misguided as is possible; All wine varietals have their shining examples and their rotten grapes. What I needed was a Merlot that could sway opinions, and I found it in this spectacular Godwin Merlot from the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County, California.

I turned to one of my assets in the wine industry, Agent Stone, to help me in my quest. Almost immediately, he presented me with a single wine, rather than the half-dozen or so that I had expected.

“Are you sure you don’t want to taste me on other Merlot’s as well,” I asked him.

“This is the one,” He replied confidently.

With some skepticism I accepted the glass that he handed me. I was struck by the color and texture of this wine. It was beautiful. I went in for a sniff, and was struck by the aromatics of the wine. Right away, I could tell that my first sip would reveal a wine of flavor, character and rich complexity. I was right. Delicious and elegant, refined and filled with a kind of class that could give any Pinot in its price range a good run for its money.

That was that. I was convinced enough to procure the handful of remaining cases and I am thrilled to make them available to our agents. This is a precious Merlot that is worthy of your attention. Especially if you ever had any doubt that Merlot could be great.

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

While the exact location of the vineyard is a closely guarded secret (not really), the approximate location of the vineyard can be seen in this satellite photo

Wine Spies Technical Analysis:

92% Alexander Valley, Moss Oak Vineyard Merlot
8% Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

FERMENTATION: 100% open top tank and punch down fermentation for 18 days

TOTAL ACIDITY" 5.84 g/lt

ALCOHOL: 14.2%

pH: 3.65

COOPERAGE: 22 months in 55% new French cooperage, barrel racked in quarterly intervals

BOTTLED: September 2003

PRODUCTION: 1,450 6-bottle cases

RELEASE DATE: November 2005

What the Winery Says

About our wine

Our Moss Oak Vineyard is nestled in the Southern-most part of the Alexander Valley, where it meets the Russian River Valley and Chalk Hill appellations of Sonoma County. the vineyard maintains a western-southwestern exposure, positively affected by the cooler Bordeaux-like climate unique to that part of the valley. The grapes, grown at an average altitude of 600 feet benefit from Moss Oak’s shallow rocky soils, more pronounced exposure to the sun and to an ideal maritime influence that produces grapes with more varietal intensity and flavor.

About this wine

The 2001 vintage is recognized as a great vintage for California Merlot. A relatively dry spring allowed for early bud break; resulting in long hang time and excellent flavor development in the berries. The harvest months of September and October were rain free, with ample warmth during the day and cooling night temperatures which maintain fruit, acidity and color integrity in the berry.

Dark Ruby with an obsidian rim, this wine dazzles the eye; proving that Merlot can be a stand alone star, this wine offers every facet identified with this classic variety. In tasting this wine offers a lush and velvety mouth feel with a broad and sensuous middle palate. Crafted with a jewel cutters precision the Godwin 2001 Merlot is opulently fruity, with plum and berry jam. The result is a perfectly balanced and elegant example of what a great Merlot offers the sophisticated oenophile.


Silver Medal - 2007 Long Beach Grand Cru

Bronze Medal - 2007 San Francisco International Wine Competition

Bronze Medal - 2007 Los Angeles International Wine Competition

Bronze Medal - 2007 International Eastern Wine Competition

Bronze Medal - 2007 Riverside International Wine Competition

Silver Medal - 2007 Pacific Rim Int’l Wine Competition

Bronze Medal - 2007 New World International Wine Competition

Silver Medal - 2007 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

Gold Medal - 2007 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Reserve Champion & Gold Medalist -2007 Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo

Bronze Medal - 2006 California State Fair

Silver Medal - 2006 International Eastern Wine Competition

Bronze Medal - 2006 Los Angeles County Fair

Gold Medal - 2006 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

Silver Medal - 2006 Dallas Morning News Wine Competition

Bronze Medal - 2006 Grand Harvest Awards

Bronze Medal - 2006 New World International Wine Competition

Silver Medal - 2006 Pacific Rim Int’l Wine Competition

Silver Medal - 2006 Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo

Bronze Medal - 2006 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition


87 Points - Drink with your Best Fare! - The Wine Enthusiast - May 2006

Cherries and blackberries - The Colorado Wine News - May 2006

88 Points and One Puff - The Connoisseur’s Guide - March 2006

90 Points - Very Highly Recommended - The California Grapevine - March 2006

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