2018 Markham Vineyards Yountville Merlot
Merlot has always been the flagship wine at Markham Vineyards dating back to the early years when Bob Foley was their first winemaker. Merlot accounts for nearly half of Markham’s production. I attended a vertical tasting of Markham Merlots at the winery during Bob Foley’s early tenure and can attest that these wines revealed the true essence of the varietal. Our recent tasting of Markham single vineyard Merlots showed that these wines have stay true to form and character.
This 100% Merlot is all about the Yountville terroir where it is grown. It is the extroverted big brother to Markham’s Oak Knoll sibling. The deep garnet hue has a bright purple rim with a generous offering of dark orchard fruits of black plums and Morello cherries. There are hints of earth driven elements, minerality and cocoa in the background. Characteristic to the Markham style this Merlot is well defined by its balance and plush texture. The mouth-feel is lush, silky and medium bodied leading to a long and memorable finish. Markham’s consistency in crafting finely tuned Merlot, especially single appellation styles, makes this worth the effort to put some aside in your cellar.
By W Peter Hoyne