Our First Syrah 91 Points Wine Spectator-
Our First Rhone Blend 91 Points Wine Spectator
From the Hillsides of the Rogue Valley
It's a familiar wine name, but what does it mean?
45years ago, as a young man, I discovered the wines of the Rhone Valley of Southern France. The names like Cote Rotie, Crozes Hermitage, Hermitage, Condrieu, Gigondas, and of course Chateau Neuf du Pape, were legend to drink, and unique to France. Each one a rose garden in a bottle.
After years of visiting the Southern Oregon Vineyards, I found occasional gems of Rhone style wines. Our goal is to polish those gems, and make these precious wines.
Now, we want to share our passion with the world.
Southern Oregon grows fantastic Rhone Varietals like Syrah, Viognier, Grenache, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, Marsanne, and Rousanne. These Rhone varietals have increased in quality and acceptance with the winegrowers, winemakers, and now even the wine tourist and residents of Southern Oregon.
Merrill Cellars 2008 Syrah, and 2008 Rhone Style Blend aka GSP, a Red Wine Blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Petite Sirah. are both full-bodied varietal wines, that will cellar for years, but are very drinkable now. I mean extremely drinkable. Wine Spectator awarded 91 points. Highest ever from the Rogue Valley. Our 2010 Viognier is a stupendous full body, full flavor classic. First 90 Points by wine Spectator from Oregon.
At Merrill Cellars our Rhone Style Wines are designed to reflect the "Cotes du Rhone" of France, yet we are serious about creating a following of great Rhone style varietals from our own Rogue Valley.
Our goal is to bring out the best of all three varietals. The full forward flavor of our Syrah with the flowery Grenache nose, and great tannins and longevity of Mourvedre or Petite Sirah. This is my "Vintners Favorite" for 2008.
Our 2008 Syrah, is a classic in the Northern Rhone style. 100% Syrah, and full bodied, great balance. It has blueberry-raspberry jammy flavors with uncommonly smooth finish. It too was awarded 91 Points by Wine Spectator.
These were the first 91 Point WS rated wines from Southern Oregon.
In 2012 we released our 2010 Rhone Style "GSM" and 2010 Syrah with my Reserve Viognier a co-fermented blend. This style is blended in Northern Rhone. The Viognier really brings out the wonderful aromas of the white Viognier and red Syrah (noir) when blended together.
Our 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 "GSM" Red, were all blended to follow the same approximate blend of 50%Grenache, 45% Syrah, and 5% Mourvedre.. It is a particularly great "food wine" but let it breathe an hour or two and you have a great wine to drink by itself. The 2013 GSM was a favorite and Best of Show "runner-up" at Newport Seafood and Wine Festival. Gold Medal.
When we released our 2010 Reserve Viognier, to great reviews, acceptance sales was overwelming. This brings a higher standard to Viognier from Oregon. Our 2011, 2013, and now 2016 "Reserve" Viognier give proof to our claim as the Viognier experts.
While the Willamette Valley has the great reputation for Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, we believe the Southern Oregon, Rogue Valley, and Applegate Valleys should make a similar identity in Rhone Style wines. We hope you and Southern Oregon Winemakers will join Merrill Cellars in making their own Rhone Style wines, from this region. Perhaps someday, we will identify Rogue Valley wines as the regions trademark wines. Our goal is to share the love of these Rhone Style wines from the Rogue Valley AVA.
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