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Best Producers

USA: U.S. Merlot

What About US Merlot?
Merlot is becoming a big business. In a very short period of time Cabernet's second sister has been introduced to the consuming public on a grand scale, and they like what they have seen so far. Easier to pronounce, earlier drinking, and softer than Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot is quickly becoming the nation's red wine of choice. The media has talked about the promise of Viognier and continues to trot out and dust off the "Rhône Rangers" as the perennial next big thing, but Merlot has quietly and systematically begun to break the tyranny of Cabernet. Unlike Cabernet, however, Merlot seems to succeed in a more limited range of appellations. The best include Washington State (possibly the finest at the top end), California’s Napa (particularly Stags Leap) and Sonoma Valleys, and a region that is showing signs of promise but still seems to be finding its way—New York’s Long Island.

Premier Producers
S. Anderson (Reserve)
Apex
Arrowood
Barnard Griffin (Reserve)
Beringer (Bancroft Ranch)
Chateau St. Jean (Reserve)
Chateau Ste. Michelle (Horse Heaven, Indian Wells, Canoe Ridge, Chateau Reserve)
Columbia Crest (Estate Series)
L’Ecole No. 41
Leonetti
Lockwood (Reserve)
Matanzas Creek (Journey)
Pine Ridge (Carneros)
Plam
Ridge
Rutherford Hill (Reserve)
St. Francis
Seven Hills (Klipsun Vineyard)
Shafer
Silverado
Waterbrook
Whitehall Lane (Leonardini Reserve)
Andrew Will
Woodward Canyon


Great Producers
Alderbrook
S. Anderson (Regular)
Antares
Barnard Griffin (Regular & Ciel du Cheval)
Benziger (Reserve)
Burgess
Byington
Cafaro
Cakebread
Canoe Ridge Vineyard
Carmenet
Chappellet
Chateau St. Jean (Regular)
Clos Pegase
Columbia Crest (Regular)
Columbia Winery (Red Willow Vineyard)
Cosentino
Crichton Hall
Cuvaison
de Lorimier
Duckhorn
Gary Farrell
Fisher
Flora Springs
Foxen
Geyser Peak (Reserve)
Golden Creek
Griffin Creek
Groth
Hanna
Harrison
Hawley
Jefferson
Jessup Cellars
Lambert Bridge
Le Ducq (Sylviane)
Liparita
Lockwood (Regular)
Macari
MacRostie
Matanzas Creek (Regular)
Merryvale (Reserve)
Midnight Cellars
Mietz
Miner
Monticello (Corley Reserve)
Mount Pleasant
Newton
Neyers
Niebaum-Coppola
Oakville Ranch
Page Mill
Pahlmeyer
Peju Province
Pine Ridge (Crimson Creek)
Preston Premium (Reserve)
Ravenswood
Rosenblum
Seven Hills (Regular & Seven Hills Vineyard)
Charles Shaw
Sonoma Creek
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
Swanson
Tefft
Ternhaven
Truchard
Whitehall Lane (Regular)
Windsor (Shelton Signature Series)


Dependable Producers
Balcom & Moe
Bargetto
Bedell
Beringer (Founders’ Estate)
Bonterra
Bridgeview
Davis Bynum
Castle
Caterina
Chateau Julien
Chateau Souverain
Cinnabar
Clos du Val
Columbia Winery (Regular)
Cottonwood Canyon
Estancia
Farella-Park
Ferrari-Carano
Thomas Fogarty
Franciscan
Gainey
Gallo Sonoma
Gordon Brothers
Gundlach Bundschu
Havens
Hyatt (Reserve)
Jarvis
Jekel
Justin
Robert Keenan
Kendall-Jackson (Buckeye Vineyard)
Kenwood
Lolonis
Markham
McIlroy
Merryvale (Regular)
Palmer
Fess Parker
Robert Pecota
Joseph Phelps
Philippe-Lorraine
Portteus
Powers
Preston Premium (Regular & Western White Oak)
Quatro
Rancho Sisquoc
Raymond
Rombauer
St. Clement (Napa Valley Bottling)
Signorello
Stags’ Leap Winery
Sterling
Stonestreet
Rodney Strong
Voss
Wellington
Wildhurst
Wild Horse
Windsor (Private Reserve)

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