Sullivan Family Vineyards
2015 Napa Valley Merlot
Merlot •Sullivan Estate & Pope Street Vineyard
California: Napa Valley
Remember when we offered the Sullivan Cab a few months back? Well, now we’re back with their Napa Merlot. And it’s a doozy! In that big-bodied, curvy, swervy, all up in your Cabernet lovin’ business kind of way.
Of course, at $85 NOT a no-brainer. But slash that by 54% and we land squarely in the gotta have it category - especially if big, expansive Napa blue chips like Pahlmeyer or Pride are your kind of thing…
Sullivan Vineyards has been around for decades, with a rich history of making some outstanding wines, and they’re surrounded by some elite company - Caymus, Staglin, Quintessa, and Scarecrow to name a few. One taste of a sample a few weeks back and we unanimously agreed this needed a spot in our jam-packed calendar.
We aren’t the only ones hyped on their wines - a recent Forbes article listed Sullivan as one of the top 20 choices for wines to serve with Thanksgiving, saying “By any measure, the wines of this under-rated and relatively unknown Napa winery are world-class…”
After all, this winery is where Agent Noir’s moving to CA adventure started many, many moons ago! Following a rough journey across the country, and a weeklong interview, he stole the family’s heart and arrived in the Napa Valley with his bride, their cat, and everything they owned packed into a wagon. Hanging out with the late Jim Sullivan, he soon realized how special this little place in the heart of Rutherford, and its wines were, especially the beast of a Merlot that insiders knew well, and clamor for.
He just won’t stop raving about that last bottle of 1984 Sullivan Merlot he popped just a few years back!
So… Merlot, make it a “cab drinker’s Merlot” will you. Crank it to 11. Frame it around a core of immense black fruit. SUPER dense and structured, with all kinds of blackberry jam, licorice, fresh tar, bittersweet chocolate, and earthy, dusty goodness. This is Merlot gone wild, no doubt, but it’s also dead serious and surely has the stuffing to last many years.
Of course, we bought all the cases we could… was it enough? Probably not!
Deep, dark ruby with the slightest glow of garnet embracing the glass narrowly
All kinds of blackberry jam, licorice, fresh tar, bittersweet chocolate, and oak spices
Framed around a core of immense black fruit, SUPER dense and structured, with earthy, dusty goodness
This is Merlot gone wild, no doubt, but it’s also dead serious, with immense lingering power
Anything you’d sip Cab with, but cellar for a few years for best results, will last many years
What the Winery Says
- Jeff Cole
- 75% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec
- Rutherford & St. Helena Napa Valley
- Sullivan Estate & Pope Street Vineyard
- 19 months
- 50% new French oak