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Merus vaulted to cult wine status when its first bottling, the 1998 Merus Cabernet Sauvignon, won a 93 score from wine critic Robert Parker, who called it “one of the finest wines of the vintage”–“an incredible coup for a first vintage,” according to The New York Times.
Since then Merus Cabernet Sauvignon has continued to receive ratings in the 90s from Parker’s Wine Advocate, The Wine Spectator, and other critics. Because of the winery’s very small production, Merus is available only on allocation to current members of our mailing list and typically only during the year of release.
100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon
The weather in 2009 was mild and dry until a deluge of rain hit in October. Fortunately, our Cabernet clusters were loosely packed and once the rain cleared, we were able to harvest clean, dry fruit under sunny skies. Vibrant and focused, our 2009 delivers layers of black licorice, brown tobacco, black and red fruits, cassis and minerals. A thick texture and intense fruit core help balance the wine’s ample tannins. The wine is perfect for drinking now and will continue to age beautifully for at least another decade.
99 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 1 percent Malbec and Petit Verdot
2008 represents our eleventh vintage of Merus. The 2008 Merus is opulent, juicy and approachable with subtle tannins lurking below the surface. The aromas are emblematic of Coombsville ripe blueberries, blackberries, anise cedar, cassis and wet granite. The lush, thick palate is backed by balancing acids that impact structure and elegance to the wine. While drinking beautifully now, the 2008 Merus has the depth and concentration to expand and evolve over the next five to ten years.
“…Patience, patience and more patience is mandated by the 2008. A blend of 99% Cabernet Sauvignon, .5% Malbec and .5% Petit Verdot reveals and opaque blue/purple color in addition to abundant graphite, vanillin, blueberry and blackberry aromas. Built for the long haul, it is a concentrated, dense, promising Cabernet along the lines of the great wines made at Merus since its founding. Give it 4-5 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 25-30 years”
99 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 1 percent Malbec and Petit Verdot. 1,378 cases were made.
The 2007 Merus is a deep, saturated garnet in color, with intense aromas of black cherry, blackberry, currant, cedar, and graphite. In the mouth it is rich, seamless, and expansive, layered yet clean and clearly focused. An abundance of black fruit and exotic spice is carried by silken tannins to a long, almost endless finish. Despite its power and concentration, it is very accessible now in its youth, but it has the structure and balance to age beautifully for a decade or even two.
“…Full-bodied, powerful, and rich with chocolaty espresso notes intermixed with blackberries and blueberries, this pure, impressively textured, long Cabernet should evolve for two decades.”
95 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 3 percent Malbec, and 2 percent Petit Verdot. 1,200 cases were made.
A bit of a diamond in the rough, it is only beginning to show all that it has to offer—intense aromas of black cherries, layered with exotic spice, and tremendous intensity in the mouth, with dark dense fruit flavors and abundant velvety tannins. A few more years in the bottle will bring the 2006 Merus to its full, luscious potential.
“…enormous power and richness. It is a massive, blockbuster-style effort possessing black fruits, plenty of spicy oak, hints of licorice and graphite, and mouth-staining tannins and extract in the finish.”
“Intense and rustic, with chewy mineral, anise, dried currant and earth notes. Full-bodied, this is concentrated and long on the finish, but needs time to soften. Best from 2011 through 2017.”
77 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 18 percent Merlot, 3 percent Malbec, 2 percent Petit Verdot. 1,013 cases were made.
Even on release the 2005 Merus was very approachable and luscious, with intense and lively aromas of pomegranate, crushed dried flowers, ripe black fruit, licorice, spices, and a pure, creamy minerality. A seamless wine with velvety tannins, it will age beautifully as well.
“…certainly one of the finest wines they have yet made…dense purple-colored to the rim, with an exquisite nose of charcoal, graphite, and blackberry liqueur. Full-bodied, with great power, richness, and sensational length, this wine will benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and last three decades.”
“Super-rich, smooth and creamy. A seductive style…Ends with a powerful yet elegant finish that keeps pumping out the flavors. Fine-grained tannins bode well for the future.”
95 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 5 percent Petit Verdot and Malbec. 875 cases were made.
The 2004 was a blockbuster, thanks to an exceptional growing season and a great deal of diligent work in the vineyard that allowed for protracted hang times. The wine fully captures the 2004 fruit’s impenetrably deep color and extremely dense, complex flavors.
“…the full-bodied, dense 2004 offers notes of blackberries, blueberries, espresso roast, and smoky oak, a super-rich mouthfeel, good freshness and purity, and enough acidity and tannin to provide structure as well as definition. It will be delicious young but should become more civilized in 4-5 years, and keep for two decades.”
“Rich and concentrated, with a generous mix of currant, blackberry, wild berry, and mocha-laced oak. Intense, yet avoids being heavy, turning sleek and elegant. Deftly balanced and tightly focused, with a complex, lingering finish that ends with hints of herb and black olive.”
97 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 3 percent Malbec and Petit Verdot. 800 cases were made.
The final blend for this exceptional wine contains only 55 percent of all the lots that were produced from this challenging vintage. We waited out the mid-September heat wave and gambled that October would bring the right weather for protracted hang-time. The gamble paid off in grapes with huge color and extremely forward flavors and complexity, qualities that carried over to the finished wine.
“…inky/purple color along with a rich bouquet of creosote, blueberries, blackberries, sweet earth, and smoky, spicy oak. With full body, abundant fruit, glycerin, and sweet tannin, a multilayered mouthfeel, and stunning upside potential…”
“Very complete and harmonious, with rich, extracted yet polished currant, wild berry, and blackberry flavors that are subtle and focused. Shows plenty of depth and concentration.”
98 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 2 percent Petit Verdot. 865 cases were made.
A heat wave in September and perfect ripening weather in October allowed the kind of long hang-time typical of the greatest Napa Valley vintages. The wine is plush and forward, “a brawny but impeccably pure expression of this varietal,” according to Robert Parker, that “may well be Merus’ finest effort to date.”
“With superb density as well as purity, a lovely mouthfeel, and a long, rich, full-bodied tannic finish, it is an impressively built, nicely layered, potentially complex Cabernet that should be at its finest between 2008 and 2020.”
“Dark, rich, and immense, with layers of thick, plush currant, black cherry and blackberry fruit that’s tightly wound and sharply focused. Given its size and density, this is remarkably elegant and deftly balanced.”
93 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 3 percent Merlot, 3 percent Petit Verdot, 1 percent Malbec. 650 cases were made.
This blockbuster vintage is a pure expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, with dark purple color, full aromas of cassis, tobacco, and licorice, and ripe acidity. Powerful and rich, it boasts deep layers of complex flavor and a concentrated finish.
“…tips the scales at a lofty 15.1 percent alcohol, but it is neither hot nor heavy….This low-acid, full-bodied 2001 possesses tremendous intensity, a massive palate impression, and no trace of heaviness or heat from its high-octane style. The tannin is sweet but clearly noticeable. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following two decades.”
“Dark, rich, and intense, with dusty berry, chocolate, cedar, and currant flavors that spread out on the palate, offering complexity and concentration, supported by firm, ripe tannins&hellip:”
91 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 6 percent Merlot, 3 percent Petit Verdot. 525 cases were made.
Despite a challenging year, the 2000 Merus possesses a refined texture, a long finish, and an abundance of sweet, forward fruit. Delicious on release, it is evolving into an even greater wine over time.
“Full-bodied and rich, with well-integrated oak, a creamy texture, and real opulence as well as purity with no hard edges…It should be drunk over the next 10-12 years.”
“Tremendous. Ripe, rich, deftly balanced, and deeply concentrated, yet with a wonderful sense of harmony and finesse. The flavors are sharply defined, built around cassis, currant, mocha, and anise, with a long, luxuriant aftertaste.”
93 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 5 percent Merlot, 2 percent Petit Verdot. 325 cases were made.
Full-bodied and spicy, the 1999 offers aromas of oak and black currants and an extended, elegant finish. It’s an exuberant wine but nonetheless well balanced and harmonious.
“The wine is full-bodied and rich, with elegance, sweet tannin, and a textured, impressive mouthfeel. It is one of the top wines of the vintage. This is a full-throttle effort, to drink over the next 15-16 years.”
“A dark, rich, hearty style that has its decadent side, with potent earthy currant, black cherry, wild berry, mineral, leather, and cedary oak flavors. Firms up on the finish, with rich, dense tannins.”
90 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 9 percent Merlot, and 1 percent Petit Verdot. 230 cases were made.
Only a very small amount of this wine was produced, but it quickly became legendary. Our first vintage offers qualities that have became Merus hallmarks: intense color, super-ripe flavors, layers of complexity, and beautiful texture.
“An impressive wine from a much-maligned vintage… The acidity seems low in this full-bodied, expressive, rich, multi-layered wine with a terrific texture and exceptional purity. This is a superb 1998, and certainly one of the finest wines of the vintage. It is also one heck of a debut wine from this small operation.”
“Dark, rich and dense, with layers of cedary currant, chocolate, black berry, mint, herb, sage and coffee, finishing with a long, complex, well-integrated aftertaste.”