Full Review

Crane Lake

Crane Lake
2013 Merlot, California

Pair this wine with:
Beef Cheese Pasta

Category: Merlot

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 12.5% RS: .5%
85 Points
Silver Medal
Highly Recommended
$6.99

Crane Lake
2013 Merlot, California

Pair this wine with:
Beef Cheese Pasta

Category: Merlot

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 12.5% RS: .5%
Bright dark garnet color. Fruity, toasty, confected aromas and flavors of huckleberries, fruit cake, planked oak - gravel, and purple pez with a crisp, dry full body and a warming, complex, brisk finish with woody, earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. As the wine opened up it came off as a bit confected.

Tasting Info

Wine Glass Style: Quaffable
Aroma Aroma: huckleberries, fruit cake, planked oak - gravel, and purple Pez
Taste Flavor: huckleberries, fruit cake, planked oak - gravel, and purple pez
Sweetness Sweetness: Fruity
Enjoy Enjoy: with food
Recipes Pairing: Aged Cheddar Cheeseburger, Aged Cheddar, Lasagna
Bottom Line Bottom Line: As the wine opened up it came off as a bit confected.

The Producer

Bronco Wine Company

The Producer
33 Harlow Court
Napa, CA 94558
USA
1 707-346-6025

Their Portfolio

87 Allure NV Bubbly Moscato, California 10% (USA) $12.99.
86 Allure NV Bubbly Pink Moscato, California 10% (USA) $12.99.
80 Allure NV Bubbly Peach Wine, California 10% (USA) $12.99.
86 Allure NV Bubbly Mango Wine, California 10% (USA) $12.99.
88 Antares 2013 Malbec, Napa Valley 13.8% (USA) $21.99.
90 Bears’ Lair 2016 Chardonnay, California 13.5% (USA) $9.99.
88 Big Guy 2014 Red Wine, California 14.2% (USA) $18.99.
88 Black Mountain 2014 Pinot Noir, California 12.5% (USA) $5.99.
84 Blanc de Bleu NV Brut, California 11% (USA) $15.99.
84 Blanc de Bleu NV Cuvee Mousseux Brut Sparkling, American 11% (USA) $19.99.
90 Bles 2014 Tinto, Valencia 13.5% (Spain) $9.99.
87 Bles 2014 Crianza, Valencia 13.5% (Spain) $13.99.
84 Carmenet 2014 Reserve, Merlot, California 12.5% (USA) $11.99.
82 Carmenet 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, California 12.5% (USA) $11.99.
88 Carmenet 2015 Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $11.99.
85 Carmenet 2014 Pinot Noir, California 12.5% (USA) $11.99.
87 Carmenet 2016 Reserve, Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $9.99.
84 Carmenet NV Vintners Collection Reserve Sparkling, Chardonnay, California 12% (USA) $15.99.
87 Cedar Brook 2016 Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $9.99.
85 Cellar Four 79 2016 Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $8.99.
83 Cellar Four 79 2015 Merlot, California 12.5% (USA) $8.99.
86 Cellar Four 79 2016 Moscato, California 9.4% (USA) $8.99.
87 Cellar Four 79 2016 Pinot Grigio, California 12.5% (USA) $8.99.
88 Cellar Four 79 2015 Pinot Noir, California 12.5% (USA) $8.99.
87 Cellar No.8 2015 Chardonnay, California 13.8% (USA) $10.99.
85 Chateau La Paws NV Pinot Noir, California 13.5% (USA) $15.99.
85 Cherry Blossom Cellars 2014 Pinot Noir, California 13.5% (USA) $4.99.
87 Coastal Ridge 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, California 12.5% (USA) $8.99.
85 Coastal Ridge 2013 Merlot, California 12.5% (USA) $8.99.
84 Coastal Vines NV Brut Cuvée Sparkling Wine, California 12% (USA) $9.99.
84 Cottonwood Creek 2015 White Wine, California 12% (USA) $9.99.
89 Cottonwood Creek 2015 Red Wine, California 12.5% (USA) $9.99.
84 Cottonwood Creek 2015 Pinot Noir, California 12.5% (USA) $11.99.
84 Cottonwood Creek 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, California 12.5% (USA) $11.99.
85 Cottonwood Creek 2016 Pinot Grigio, California 12.5% (USA) $11.99.
83 Cottonwood Creek 2016 Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $11.99.
85 Crane Lake 2013 Merlot, California 12.5% (USA) $6.99.
86 Crane Lake 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, California 12.5% (USA) $6.99.
93 Crane Lake 2015 Pinot Grigio, California 12.5% (USA) $6.99.
88 Daffodil Winery 2014 Eola Amity, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 14.5% (USA) $39.99.
92 Deshora NV Brut, Cava DO 11.5% (Spain) $15.00.
89 Estrella 2014 Proprietor’s Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, California 12.5% (USA) $7.99.
86 Estrella 2014 Proprietor’s Reserve, Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $7.99.
84 Estrella 2013 Proprietor’s Reserve, Merlot, California 12.5% (USA) $7.99.
88 Fat Cat 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, California 12.5% (USA) $11.99.
86 Forest Glen 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, California 13.5% (USA) $11.99.
87 Forest Glen 2014 Merlot, California 13.5% (USA) $11.99.
86 Forest Glen 2014 Moscato, California 10% (USA) $10.99.
88 Forest Glen 2015 Riesling, California 11% (USA) $10.99.
85 Forest Glen 2015 White Merlot, California 11.5% (USA) $10.99.
85 Forest Glen 2015 Chardonnay, California 13.8% (USA) $10.99.
88 ForestVille 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, California 12.5% (USA) $7.99.
90 ForestVille 2015 Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $7.99.
83 ForestVille 2013 Merlot, California 12.5% (USA) $7.99.
84 Fox Brook 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, California 12.5% (USA) $6.99.
88 Fox Brook 2015 Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $6.99.
90 Fox Brook 2015 Pinot Grigio, California 12.5% (USA) $6.99.
83 Fox Brook 2015 White Zinfandel, California 10.5% (USA) $6.99.
86 Foxhollow 2015 Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $6.99.
89 Garnet Vineyards 2016 Chardonnay, Monterey County 13.8% (USA) $14.99.
91 Gravel Bar Winery 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 14.5% (USA) $19.99.
88 Gravel Bar Winery 2014 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley 14% (USA) $17.99.
91 Gravel Bar Winery 2014 Alluvial Red Blend, Columbia Valley 14.5% (USA) $19.99.
90 Gravel Bar Winery 2014 Estate Reserve - Red Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 14% (USA) $45.99.
90 Gravel Bar Winery 2016 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley 14.5% (USA) $15.99.
86 Green Fin 2016 Merlot, California 12.5% (USA) $4.99.
87 Green Fin 2016 Pinot Grigio, California 12.5% (USA) $4.99.
88 Green Fin 2016 Red Wine, California 12% (USA) $4.99.
86 Green Fin 2015 White Wine, California 11% (USA) $4.99.
87 Green Truck 2014 Organic, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendocino County 13.8% (USA) $17.99.
83 Green Truck 2014 Petite Sirah, Mendocino County 13.8% (USA) $17.99.
83 Green Truck 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendocino County 13.8% (USA) $13.99.
84 Green Truck 2014 Chardonnay, Mendocino County 13.8% (USA) $13.99.
85 Green Truck 2014 Petite Sirah, Mendocino County 13.8% (USA) $13.99.
84 Green Truck 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Mendocino County 13.2% (USA) $13.99.
83 Hacienda 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, California 12.5% (USA) $8.99.
84 Hacienda 2014 Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $8.99.
85 Hacienda 2014 Merlot, California 12.5% (USA) $8.99.
83 Hacienda NV Brut Sparkling, California 12% (USA) $12.99.
87 Haraszthy Family Cellars 2014 Bearitage Red Wine, Lodi 13.8% (USA) $14.99.
86 Harlow Ridge 2016 Zinfandel, Lodi 12.5% (USA) $8.99.
93 Komodo Dragon 2014 Red Blend, Columbia Valley 12.5% (USA) $17.99.
87 La Toque NV Port, California 18% (USA) $.00.
88 La Toque NV Madeira, California 18% (USA) $.00.
82 La Toque NV Sherry, California 18% (USA) $.00.
90 Laurelwood Reserve 2014 Hirschy Vineyard Reserve, Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton 14.5% (USA) $39.99.
91 Livermore Crossing 2013 Merlot, Livermore Valley 13.8% (USA) $17.99.
84 Masked Rider 2013 Sagebrush, Pinot Noir, California 13.5% (USA) $12.99.
87 Miya Ray 2016 Malbec, Curico Valley 12.6% (Chile) $.00.
86 Miya Ray 2016 Malbec, Curico Valley 12.6% (Chile) $14.99.
80 Miya Ray 2016 Chardonnay, Curico Valley 13.9% (Chile) $14.99.
88 Montpellier 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, California 12.5% (USA) $9.99.
85 Montpellier 2014 Pinot Noir, California 12.5% (USA) $9.99.
89 Naked Earth 2015 Vin Blanc, France 12.5% (France) $12.00.
88 Naked Earth 2015 Vin Rouge, France 12.5% (France) $12.00.
89 Napa Ridge 2014 Chardonnay, Napa Valley 13.5% (USA) $17.99.
84 Once Upon A Vine 2015 A Charming Pinot, Pinot Noir, California 13.5% (USA) $15.99.
88 Once Upon A Vine 2014 The Fairest, Chardonnay, California 13.5% (USA) $14.99.
92 Orogeny 2014 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley 14.5% (USA) $45.99.
88 Orogeny 2016 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 13% (USA) $34.99.
90 Pacific Pinot 2015 Pinot Noir, Oregon 13.5% (USA) $15.99.
89 Paso Grande 2017 Premier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Maule Valley 13.5% (Chile) $13.99.
85 Paso Grande 2018 Reservado, Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Valley 13% (Chile) $7.99.
89 Paso Grande 2018 Reservado, Carmenère, Central Valley 13% (Chile) $7.99.
91 Picket Fence 2014 Top Rail Red Blend, Sonoma County 13.5% (USA) $15.99.
85 Picket Fence 2014 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 13.5% (USA) $15.99.
93 Picket Fence 2015 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 13.5% (USA) $15.99.
89 PINO Cellars 2015 Pinot Gris, Oregon 13.5% (USA) $17.99.
91 PINO Cellars 2014 Pinot Noir, Oregon 13.5% (USA) $19.99.
86 PINO Cellars 2015 Rose of Pinot Noir, Oregon 13.5% (USA) $19.99.
88 Primosole 2016 Pinot Grigio, Terra Siciliane IGT 12% (Italy) $10.00.
90 Primosole 2013 Sangiovese, Puglia IGT 12.5% (Italy) $10.00.
83 Rare Earth 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, California 13.2% (USA) $12.00.
84 Rare Earth 2014 Chardonnay, California 13.8% (USA) $12.00.
89 Rare Earth 2015 Pinot Noir, California 13.8% (USA) $12.00.
84 Red Truck 2013 Merlot, California 13.5% (USA) $11.99.
84 Red Truck 2014 Pinot Noir, California 13.5% (USA) $11.99.
86 Red Truck 2014 Red Wine, California 13.5% (USA) $10.99.
83 Red Truck 2016 Chardonnay, California 13% (USA) $11.99.
88 Red Truck 2013 Old Vine, Zinfandel, California 13.5% (USA) $11.99.
87 Redwood Vineyards 2013 Pinot Noir, California 12.5% (USA) $10.99.
90 Richard Grant NV Cuvee Rose Brut, North Coast 12% (USA) $29.99.
86 Rosenblum 2014 Zinfandel, Paso Robles 13.8% (USA) $19.99.
93 Rosenblum 2014 Zinfandel, Rockpile 15.3% (USA) $29.99.
92 Rosenblum NV Vintner’s Cuvée XXXIX, Zinfandel, California 13.9% (USA) $19.99.
85 RSVP NV Brut Sparkling, California 12% (USA) $5.99.
88 Rutherford Vintners 2013 Merlot, Napa Valley 12.5% (USA) $19.99.
93 Rutherford Vintners 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 13.8% (USA) $21.99.
83 Rutherford Vintners 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley 12.5% (USA) $19.99.
87 Rutherford Vintners 2014 Chardonnay, Napa Valley 12.5% (USA) $17.99.
86 Salmon Creek 2016 Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $9.99.
84 Salmon Creek NV Brut Sparkling, California 12% (USA) $10.99.
88 Silver Ridge 2014 Merlot, California 12.5% (USA) $11.99.
84 Silver Ridge 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, California 12.5% (USA) $11.99.
87 Silver Ridge 2015 Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $11.99.
85 Silver Ridge 2014 Pinot Noir, California 12.5% (USA) $11.99.
88 Six Degrees 2014 Chardonnay, California 13.5% (USA) $13.99.
89 Six Degrees 2014 Pinot Noir, California 13.5% (USA) $13.99.
89 Six Degrees 2016 Chardonnay, California 13.5% (USA) $9.99.
83 Snap Dragon 2014 Pinot Noir, California 13.5% (USA) $10.99.
87 Snap Dragon 2014 Chardonnay, California 13.5% (USA) $9.99.
87 Stone Cellars 2015 Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $8.99.
85 Stone Cellars 2015 Chef’s Collection, Chardonnay, California 12.5% (USA) $10.99.
86 Stone Cellars NV Cuvee Brut, California 12% (USA) $13.99.
86 The Great American Wine Company 2014 Chardonnay, California 13.5% (USA) $14.99.
91 Three Ghost Vine 2016 Pinot Noir, California 12.5% (USA) $7.46.
86 Three Knights 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley 13.5% (USA) $21.99.
88 Tour des Fiefs 2017 Sancerre 13% (France) $27.99.
87 White Truck 2015 Unoaked, Chardonnay, California 13% (USA) $11.99.
85 Wild Hare 2015 Pinot Noir, California 13.5% (USA) $10.99.

Merlot

Wine Glass Cabernet.jpg
Serve in a Cabernet Wine Glass
Merlot is a red variety that is loved by consumers, yet often shunned by certain wine gurus and critics, as they perceive these wines as “little sisters” to the more powerful Cabernet Sauvignon. Yet on its own, the best examples of Merlot are multi-layered, complex wines that are among the finest in the world.

Merlot has many similar flavors to Cabernet Sauvignon, especially with its cherry and plum fruit, but is has fewer, less sharp tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon. Many producers whether in Bordeaux, America, Chile or elsewhere, often blend small percentages of Merlot into Cabernet Sauvignon to lessen the tannic bitterness of the latter.

A few districts in France’s Bordeaux region, namely Pomerol, are home to the greatest examples of Merlot. Chateau Petrus is the world’s most famous example of Merlot, a powerful wine that ages beautifully for 30 or 40 years in the best vintages. There are also celebrated examples from American, especially in Washington’s Walla Walla valley as well as in Napa Valley in California. Merlot is also very successful in Chile, New Zealand and even in certain part of Italy.

Merlot pairs best with foods such as lamb or veal, but it also sought out by consumers to accompany steaks and roast when they want a rounder, more elegant red wine.