EP 874 Head to Head Merlot Blind Tasting

Gary Vaynerchuk continues the blind tasting theme and tries out two Merlots with some interesting results.

Wines tasted in this episode:

2006 Cakebread MerlotNapa Merlot
2006 Stags Leap W.c. MerlotNapa Merlot

Links mentioned in todays episode.

Latest Comment:

View More

luca bercelli


Lines of the day – ‘You got to give a guy credit, Mott, am I doing some good stuff here or what’

‘this is about the worst $100 we’ve put on the show in a while’

Crap wines, good show. Glad that GV panned the Cakebread blind, a wine he’s always referring to as not one of his favourites

Tags: merlot, napa, red, review, wine, wines

Episodes >

  • passion4wine

    I really like the Twomey Merlot- again, a bit pricey.. but love it

  • RichieHell

    QOTD: Can't remember.

  • Randall

    Is Richard your father?

  • JayZee13

    Wow! That sucked! (The wines, that is.) Well, I won't dis Merlot because I really like it. Give me a good Washington State Merlot and I'm a happy dude. Perhaps the Brown Bag episodes would have a better chance with at least 4 wines rather than just 2?

    QOTD: Tonight in Geneva, Switzerland, I had a 2005 Saint-Emilion (mostly Merlot) that was really nice and rather inexpensive. It had notes of black cherry and cassis with a hint of anise. Very nice. Sorry, I didn't buy it so I am not sure what Chateau it was, although I am pretty sure it was a “second wine” from one of the better right bank Chateaus.

  • JayZee13

    Dude, 105% is a bit much, isn't it?

  • JayZee13

    Actually, the real 2009 Bordeaux won't hit the shelf until 2012 at least. Figure about three years from the vintage from any decent Bordeaux. The lesser Chateaus and classifications will be released in 2011 at the earliest.

  • JayZee13

    Adam, he doesn't hate you – he just doesn't know you. 😉

  • rieslingrocks

    Don't drink single grape merlot too often, but I do like Chateau Lapostelle from Chile.

  • K is for Kate

    The most recent Merlot I had also happens to be one of the best I ever recall having. The Meroi Nestri 2006. I enjoyed the fact that this was lighter-bodied than much of the Merlot I've had. Velvety with nice fruit and great structure.

  • Great episode too bad those merlots didn't match up to the brand and to the price. Oh well, that's the subjectivity of the game.

    QOTD: The last merlot I had was from Foreign Affair. the vines are under 10 years old and the vineyard is doing it an Amarone style so 20% of the grapes are dried like they do with Amarone. The wine was phenomenal, it had an amazing nose of leather, prunes, and earth. I loved it. I would give it a 92 hands down. It definitely matched the $35 price tag.

  • I always like Red Rock Merlot as my default go to wine. It just seems so balanced and smooth to me. 89 points is my rating and one can usually find it for 9-11 bones.

  • A_S

    2006 Frey Organic Merlot
    On the nose, sour berries, cranberry and a hint of strange burnt wood and something that reminds me of sauerkraut. The taste follows the smell and ends in a mix of the fruit and some sort of dry spice/earth/brick. Some oak, but not over the top. The wine has a strange aroma all over, but it's not thin, and the aftertaste leaves my mouth slightly dry.”

  • Richie

    I have been telling people for years that both Cakebread and Stags Leap don't deliver the thunder. People that go out of their way to spend $50 & $35 on these wine should be asking their local shops to find them wines that bring more bang for your buck.

    I don't even sell them in my store.

  • I couldn’t agree more!!! Best merlot I’ve ever had.. (Pahlmeyer and it’s other label, Jayson does a good job, too!)

  • ewb

    QOTD: 181 Lodi Merlot. I enjoyed it very much for the QPP ratio.

  • Phil G

    QOTD – haven't had any in awhile, just because. Probably last time was a right bank blend…

  • Andy

    Here's my most recent merlot, from about three weeks ago. I continue to try merlots every now and then, but haven't found one that I really enjoy in my price range ($15 and under). There are plenty of many decent malbecs and shirazes available for less money.

    2005 Franciscan Merlot

    color: mid-dark purple; nose: spicy blackberry — unusual and enjoyable; taste: medium-weight mouth feel, cinnamon, spicy dry medium-length finish with a nice tannin backup; overall: enjoyable spice bomb that reminded me more of a CS than a merlot, a great buy at $15 and a reasonable value at $18.

  • Dr. Bullock

    Tasted a few days ago the Falesco Montiano 2007 (Merlot), extremely high ratings (GR 3/3, LM 96/100, V 98/100) for such a price I thought (around 30 bucks). Even though I was astounded by the cellaring potential (10-20 yrs I guess), to me there was a very little bit fruit missing. Of course the wine evolves, but I don't think this particularly gets better, but the wine as a whole will no doubt. If you like real dry reds this one should be excellent for you. Very good alternative to very expensive bordeaux chateaux. Maybe the dryness has to do with the region in Italy where it's produced, Lazio. I would rate it good solid 92 points. Lets say good 93, because you dont get too many wines with such a cellaring potential for this price.

  • I emerge from lurkerdom again, shamed by Mr. Vaynerchuk into posting.

    Like many posters here, I enjoy expressive wines. Here in Austin, there's a chain of stores called Twin Liquors, that's pretty good with wine. More specifically, they often carry a range of vintages for any given bottle, particularly big reds. To me this is their real strength in the retail environment here. (Perhaps this would be a strength anywhere–is it uncommon?)

    That is how I got hold of the 2001 Gary Farrell Merlot (Sonoma) a few months ago. When you drink it, you are conversing with the wine–you can't do a whole lot else except eat. Delightful!

  • Mike in C-town

    Nice to see a head to head of two iconic Napa producers.

    QOTD: haven't had one lately, last one was a right bank around the Super Bowl…

  • Mike in C-town

    In my experience, a range of vinatges does not seem to be very common in either retail or online stores. Lucky you.

  • Interesting. Well, lucky most of the time! Twice I've had epic fails from older vintages (a Beaune and a 2002 Canoe Ridge Merlot)–though I confess, I knew I was taking a chance!

  • Weston3220

    well last night and finished off today was a bottle of 2005 Château Curton La Perriere Cuvée No 5 [Bordeaux] good med body, tannins softening, strawberry fruit just dElicious 90pts

  • Verasion Merlot was the last one I had the interested me in the least (and it was very good). My results with Merlot have been so inconsistent that I tend to steer away from them.

  • Nik_B

    Shame there wasn't an old world merlot in there to see how it compared.

  • “Well , the coach outlet view of coach handbags the passage is totally correct ,your details is really reasonable and you guy give us valuable informative post, I totally agree the standpoint of upstairs. I often surfing on this forum when I m free and I find there are so much good information we can learn in this forum!
    ugg gissella boots

  • amm3rd

    I’m surprised how long is has been…

    2003 Havens Wine Cellars Merlot Carneros (USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros) 10/8/2009 AMM3RD 90
    This took 15-20 mins. to open up, then it was singing. Garnet red color that was very nice. Nose of red berrys and a little alcohol. Very balanced on the palate with red fruits, spice, some mild oak. Very enjoyable, and for ~16 its a great QPR. Drink and enjoy, this should last another 3+years…AMM (842 views)

  • Currently drinking Firefly Ridge 2008 Merlot. It’s fine… a little meh, but I’m drinking it after dinner on a tuesday night, so no complaints. Cherry, vanilla, pepper, blah blah blah… I got it on a massive discount and would never buy it at full price, but I’m happy to be drinking it anyway 🙂

  • QOTD: Marco Felluga Merlot “Varneri” Collio 2007, personal score 86, price 11 eur

  • luca bercelli


    Lines of the day – ‘You got to give a guy credit, Mott, am I doing some good stuff here or what’

    ‘this is about the worst $100 we’ve put on the show in a while’

    Crap wines, good show. Glad that GV panned the Cakebread blind, a wine he’s always referring to as not one of his favourites


Not Subscribed to WLTV yet?

Never miss an episode and get notifications on the hottest wine deals!

No thanks.