Merry Edwards hits the ground running this summer with a collection of five pinot noirs from the Russian River Valley, including four single vineyard offerings from the region. We tasted all five and found quite a surprising range of flavors to explore. Let’s dig in.
2019 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – No complaints to be had here on this entry-level bottling from Merry Edwards, a classic representation of the Russian River, showcasing bright cherry, notes of graphite, and a hint of licorice and dark chocolate on the somewhat short finish. It’s a straightforward wine but one which is never short of enthusiastically enjoyable, and which stands as a perfect introduction to the Merry Edwards pinot noir house style. A- / $63
2019 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Georganne – More floral and quite a bit softer — just as the name might connote — this is one of the gentlest pinots in this lineup, evoking quiet notes of strawberry and brown sugar, with the more traditional cherry notes running closer to maraschino than black. That softness makes this imminently drinkable, and it drinks gorgeously on its own, unlike most of the other wines in this lineup which do better alongside food. Pretty notes of cherry blossoms, orange flowers, and some milk chocolate give the finish an extra bit of effusive fun. A / $90
2019 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Klopp Ranch – This single vineyard offering doesn’t stray much from the house style, though it has a more immersive level of depth that showcases more of the chocolate notes and a hint of walnut oil. There’s more of a tannic grip here also, with a black cherry character and some tea leaf notes enduring well into the finish. I catch some lip-pursing gumminess on the fade-out, but this is otherwise a solid rendition of Russian River pinot. B+ / $90
2019 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Coopersmith – A big note of mint leads the way on this wine, but it blows off quickly and settles into a surprisingly savory groove. Beefier and more sultry than most of the wines in this collection, it benefits from pairing with a more aggressive, meaty meal, where its tannins can complement the intensity of the food. I paired it with sausages and found it still had room to run, its finish a bit short on acidity. B+ / $90
2019 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Olivet Lane – One of the driest wines in this collection, the cherry elements feel unripe, filtered through a green, grassy character that tilts at kalamata olives and winds its way toward licorice on the finish. Even with time in glass, it never really releases its tight grip on the palate, however. Most of these wines benefit from a slight chill before serving, this one more than most. B / $90