Merlo Family Estate Pinot Noir 4-Pack

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Look, if you're not supposed to feed this to birds, then why does it have a bird right on the label?

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for joining us today. You donors have all been so instrumental in helping to bring the Carlsbad Aviary to life, and the city will greatly benefit from this wildlife sanctuary as soon as its doors are opened. Unfortunately, it looks like that won’t be happening just yet.

You see, while things did appear to be on track, it seemed that we had forgotten to feed the birds anything. I think we had just assumed that birds nourish themselves by catching bugs or something, and as we forgotten to hire an ornithologist of any kind, no one had told us otherwise. Prompted by the birds’ constant squawking, we went down to the K-Mart and picked up some bird seed. While some of the birds seemed to like it, many birds, such as the vultures and penguins, just ignored it.

Putting our heads together, we tried to think of what else birds might like to eat. We all agreed that fruit seemed like a good way to go. But some of us at the aviary also thought they had seen birds eating flowers before, too. What could we feed them that had both fruit and flowers, though? Then it hit us: why not feed them the very wine we had been drinking all night? It was an R. Merlo 2010 Pinot Noir, and with aromas of Bing cherries and lilacs, it seemed like it would be right up the birds’ alley! Not only that, but there were additional flavors of red currants, plums, oak, and minerals; surely there’d be something for everybody; or everybird, should I say! There was even a bird on the label, which clearly seemed like a sign.

Anyway, the birds didn’t seem to care for the wine. But we weren’t about to skirt our responsibility to nourish these creatures, so we just held them and forced them to drink it. This is where we began to run into trouble. Many of the birds were just too fast to catch, while others, such as the vultures, became rather aggressive after being compelled to drink so much wine. The penguins never even had any, as they were at this point largely unresponsive. In retrospect, it may not have been a good idea to leave them out in the dry Southern California sun. But let's try not to focus on that; there’s no use crying over spilt milk, or dead penguins.

The point of all of this is that we are at this point completely broke. We spent all our remaining funds on Pinot Noir, and the surviving birds are still very hungry, and rather belligerent to boot. So if you donors could see it in your heart to so generously give us another injection of cash, we’ll be able to buy a few more cases of the Pinot Noir to feed the birds. We’re pretty sure they just need some time to acquire the taste.

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2010 Pinot Noir, Trinity County 750ml 4-Pack

The Merlo Family Estate Vineyards are located on the riverbanks of the South Fork of the Trinity River. Surrounded by 6,000 ft mountains, the vineyards are higher than most California vineyards, at an elevation of 1,250 feet. The valley floor has alluvial soils which allow excellent drainage and produce elegant yet complex flavors in the fruit. The surrounding hillside soils are shallow native clay which create bold, well-structured wines. The late growing season allows for slower ripening and longer hang time, resulting in full, concentrated flavors.

A cold, wet spring brought a late start to the growing season. Summer was warm, but not as hot as normal. We did not experience anywhere near the amount of morning fog and cool temperatures as in other North Coast regions, so we did not have to pull leaves to the same extent to open the vines to the sun. When the heat spike hit in August, we did not experience sun damage to our crop. Yields in most varieties were as good or better than in 2009. The fruit had good acid and pH, with rich, intense flavors and colors.

The 2010 Pinot Noir has a dark, rich, garnet color and aromas of Bing cherries and lilacs. The palate presents fruit flavors of concentrated red currants and simpler fresh plums, and are well-integrated with the balanced influence of subtle new oak and minerals. The 2010 Pinot Noir pairs beautifully with roasted hen, farm-crafted cheeses, or grilled salmon.


Winery Retail Price: $100.00
Average Shipping:  $22.00
Woot Shipping:  (-$5.00)
Total MSRP:   $117.00

  • Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
  • Alcohol: 13.4%
  • TA: 0.60 g /100 ml
  • pH: 3.30
  • Barrel Aging: French Oak for 12 months
  • Production: 750 cases
  • Released: March 2012

Winery Details

Merlo Family Estate Vineyards

Ray and Robin Merlo
Redding, CA

Tucked away in the far reaches of rugged Northern California lies Hyampom Valley - a remote river valley hidden amongst the inter-coastal mountains of Southern Trinity County. The word Hyampom comes from the northern Wintu Indian word "Hien-pom". The actual meaning is not clear, but there have been many speculations. According to anthropologist, A.L. Kroeber, the term "pom" means "land" or "place" but the meaning of the balance of the word is unknown. "High Valley," "Low Valley," "Pleasant Valley," "Place of Plenty," and "Place at the Base of the Mountain" are some of the speculations of the actual meaning of the word, Hyampom. The Indians of long ago, so the story goes, would come to Hyampom for the winters. "Hy," they would say,"is there enough to share with us?" "Hy," would answer the natives of Hyampom, "there is always plenty here for all." Hyampom is a fitting name for one of the most remote, and perhaps most ideal, winemaking regions in California.

R. Merlo Estate Vineyards is located along the banks of the wild and scenic South Fork of the Trinity River and at the base of South Fork Mountain, the longest contiguous ridge in the continental United States. This wholly unique setting helps create wines that speak to the power and beauty that is Hyampom Valley. Influenced by the idyllic growing season and climate of this small pocket valley, the fruit produced in the R. Merlo Estate Vineyards expresses a strong sense of place. Based on the concept that quality wine is grown in the vineyard, a minimalist approach is taken in the cellar, allowing the wines to clearly reflect the varietal character and distinct terroir of Hyampom Valley.

R. Merlo Estate Vineyards produces a rare collection of richly flavored and expressive wines. Unlike many California wines, these deep, complex wines are not high in alcohol, nor overripe in flavors. Rather, the wines are naturally big and bold, yet refined and beautiful.

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