Price Range : $40 - 48
Region: Russian River Valley, California Ready to Drink: 2 years after bottle vintage
One of the classics of American wine, the MERRY EDWARDS Sauvignon Blanc is loveliness that’s hard to put words to. How to aptly describe this 2014 vintage bottling? It has the warmth of midday sun in Fall . . . it’s pretty as a slender blonde movie star of yesteryear (Grace Kelly, Lana Turner, Jane Fonda) . . . striking as a tall sunflower . . . elegant as the flowing silhouette of a Versace evening gown . . . lively as a pebble skipping over crystalline clear waters . . . rich as the feeling of a good laugh . . . enlivening as the sight of a rainbow after an early morning rain shower. Flavor notes of ripe nectarine, Red Delicious apple and lemon verbena envelop the palate like a comforting Linus blanket. Structured and built to last, with a gentle grip of minerality on the finish, this is the epitome of gracefulness and elegance in American white wine. A beloved wine, because it evokes emotions and impressions . . . not words. –J.M.
Our 2012 Vintage Review:
Is this the greatest white wine made in America?
The pros toward that argument: 1) Illustrious history. Merry Edwards, with over 40 years as a winemaker, is a pioneer—being one of the first of California women in a male-dominated profession. Indeed, if you could assign “feminine” qualities to wine, this Sauvignon Blanc does distinguish itself from the steely, hard, cold and muscular backbone most commonly found in northern California Sauvignon Blancs with its mellow, graceful and alluring notes of honey, yellow peach, cantaloupe, elderflower, lemon verbena and lime. The work of art that is the wine label encapsulates the artistry and unique character behind the wine. 2) Remarkable consistency. From its first vintage in the early 2000s, the MERRY EDWARDS Sauvignon Blanc has never veered from the high bar of standards it accomplished from the outset. And, if it means anything to you, the wine has consistently received scores of 90 points or higher from wine critics since the beginning. Critical success is great, but it’s also great to see the wine is one of the most popular among consumers at restaurants and, thus, a tremendous commercial success. 3) Priced for everybody. This has so many similar qualities to premium Sauvignon Blancs from Bordeaux such as a Domaine de Chevalier ($115) and a Chateau Pape Clement ($200-$500) but this American classic is priced for the common man and woman (cue: Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man) who is ready to spend a little extra for something fantastic. What are those qualities these wines have in common? Meticulous precision, clarity, beautiful expression of fruit, harmoniousness, winsome quality, fulsome and bright character, sophistication and elegance, gorgeously round texture, and an elongated journey from nose to finish.
The cons: There are none. –J.M. 94 pts