Review: Wines of Merry Edwards, Winter 2024 Releases

Review: Wines of Merry Edwards, Winter 2024 Releases

We aren’t ones to shy away from additional wines from Merry Edwards, with this wintertime release spanning more 2021 pinot noirs, two whites, and the first sparkling wine we’ve tasted from the winery — this one bottled in honor of the upcoming eclipse.

2017 Merry Edwards Cuvee Eclipse Russian River Valley – Harvested on August 21, 2017, the day of the last big American eclipse. Made from 100% pinot noir, the wine offers an amazing brightness that’s dusted with just a pinch of residual sweetness. Bold apple up front melds with lightly yeasty notes of grapefruit peel and a little lemon curd, then moves into a more sultry character of Asian pear and almond butter. A light bitterness and salty minerality give the finish the gravity needed to survive a few minutes of darkness during the day. A- / $100

2022 Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley – A decidedly creamy and immersive expression of sauvignon blanc, Merry Edwards has always had its own formula when it comes to working with this grape. Rather than sharp and ammonia-driven, the wine is lush and velvety, layering on notes of gooseberry, lemon curd, and quince, before making way for a parade of florals to enter the picture. A boldly perfumed jasmine note pairs nicely with a pinch of allspice on the finish, though it’s buried under a healthy dollop of dairy cream. The formula has not changed in recent years; this one’s hard to put down, as always. A / $45

2021 Merry Edwards Chardonnay Olivet Lane Russian River Valley – A lithe, creamy, fruit-forward chardonnay — classic California in a glass. Notes of almond, lychee, and grapefruit make for a fun combination of flavors, lush but infused with plenty of bright citrus acidity. Lingering vanilla and gooseberry cling to the palate endlessly, with a finish that maintains its chewy consistency. Surprisingly straightforward but perfectly drinkable. A- / $68

2021 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Meredith Estate Russian River Valley – An opulent and decadent wine, commensurate with expectations from a Russian River vineyard. The wine kicks off with aggressive black cherry and plum notes, but to my great surprise it soon finds room for an unusual spiciness — ginger, cinnamon, and mixed florals that include jasmine, lilac, and rose. Mysterious but elegant, the wine meanders its way toward a finish that evokes mint and more restrained floral elements, though it never strikes as anything describable as perfumed. A / $90

2021 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Richaven Russian River Valley – This is my first encounter with this vineyard, which makes sense, as it was only planted in 2015, next to Meredith. I swear you can taste the youth of the vines in the wine, in a good way, as this bottling eschews the density you’ll find in many of the other 2021 pinot noirs we’ve covered from Merry Edwards. Light on its feet, the wine is effusively floral and bright, elegant with notes of violets and cherry blossoms, pinched with cinnamon, dusted with lilac, and finished with fresh maraschino cherry juice. Sunshine somehow creeps into the glass, maintaining its dazzling brightness from start to finish. Impossible to put down, it’s one of my favorite Merry Edwards bottlings ever. A+ / $80

2021 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – A hearty but balanced sipper, this rather dense Sonoma Coast expression of pinot noir eases its way from black fruits to red, with baking spice and fresh rosemary offering a counterpoint to the more exuberant but sometimes brooding layers of fruit. Notes of licorice emerge toward the finish, touched with a bit of charry wood, eventually evoking dark chocolate. Light tannins linger on the back end for quite some time, making it more of a decadent but food-friendly wine. A- / $50

2021 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Coopersmith Russian River Valley




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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