Cannonball’s 2016 Merlot shows all the hallmarks of a vintage characterized by perfect weather. Healthy, fully ripened grapes yield delicacy and a smooth texture: this is delicious wine that hits all the right notes. The final blend is 91% Merlot blended with small amounts of Petite Sirah and Syrah for complexity. Fruit comes from Cannonball’s estate Adam and Eve vineyard in the northern Russian River Valley and from partner vineyards across California.
The lush nose is ripe with fresh huckleberry, star anise, and gently spicy, toasted oak. On the palate, the wine sits comfortably between medium- and full-bodied, with classic Right Bank Bordeaux weight and wonderful concentration. You’ll pick up flavours of cherry, dark chocolate, and spice cake. The wine finishes with nicely balanced texture and flavour and a refreshing brightness. This is the opportunity to capitalize on the versatility of Merlot: pair with smoky red meat straight from the grill, crisp-skinned duck with lentils, or slow-braised pasta sauces.
95 points + Double Gold Medal, San Francisco International Wine Competition 2018
“Smoky and youthful with balanced varietal flavors and black pepper finish.”
90 points + “Gold”, Critics Challenge International Wine Competition, 2018