The 2013 vintage—dry yet moderate in temperature—lifted many boats, not just in Napa Valley. This sleek Monterey merlot has a simple, pure ripeness, the fruit bright red and focused, with complex, savory aromas of cocoa and tobacco chiming in. It’s firm rather than fat, ready to take on flank steak.
This is a thick, rich and very ripe wine, with a charred back note making its way against higher-toned tastes of red raspberry and blackberry. The oak is integrated and the wine softly varietal, but it packs a punch on the palate. —V.B
This is tart and juicy, with rose scents and black raspberry flavors carried by brisk acidity. Give it a light chill and bring it to a cookout; it will match everything from the burgers to the vegetable sides.