Vintage guides

Region: California Merlot

Year Rating Drinkability Style More
1977 starstarstarstarstar drink now Rain at harvest time helped grapes stressed by drought more...
1978 starstarstarstarstar drink now A long vintage with high yields of very ripe grapes more...
1979 starstarstarstarstar drink now A vintage of very irregular quality more...
1980 starstarstarstarstar drink now A lack of uniform ripeness caused problems more...
1981 starstarstarstarstar drink now A generally disappointing vintage more...
1982 starstarstarstarstar drink now A difficult harvest interrupted by rain more...
1983 starstarstarstarstar drink now An unexpectedly good vintage for Merlot more...
1984 starstarstarstarstar drink now The first of a trio of very good years, this was the best vintage for red wines since 1978 more...
1985 starstarstarstarstar drink now An outstanding vintage more...
1986 starstarstarstarstar drink now A ripe vintage with forward flavours more...
1987 starstarstarstarstar drink now A number of intensely flavoured, succulent wines more...
1988 starstarstarstarstar drink now A short vintage of uneven quality more...
1989 starstarstarstarstar drink now Simple wines lacking in vigour more...
1990 starstarstarstarstar drink soon A reasonably good Merlot vintage more...
1991 starstarstarstarstar drink now Average vintage though some Merlot failed to ripen fully more...
1992 starstarstarstarstar drink soon Early ripening Merlot produced some soft, lush wines more...
1993 starstarstarstarstar drink now Pleasant wines for early drinking more...
1994 starstarstarstarstar drink soon Low yields, but many North Coast Merlots were very good more...
1995 starstarstarstarstar drink soon A variable vintage. Some wines were tannic and astringent more...
1996 starstarstarstarstar drink soon A generally light vintage more...
1997 starstarstarstarstar drink soon Very good vintage, especially for Napa Valley Merlots which have forward black fruit flavors and refined tannins. more...
1998 starstarstarstarstar drink soon A very mixed vintage with some North Coast growers picking too early more...
1999 starstarstarstarstar drink soon The harvest was saved by the onset of an Indian summer more...
2000 starstarstarstarstar keep Crop size was primary factor - low-cropped vineyards show deep color, richness, and balance more...
2001 starstarstarstarstar keep Wines have a deep, intense colour with pronounced stone-fruit character. more...
2002 starstarstarstarstar keep Rich concentrated fruit with fully-ripened flavours—a very good year more...
2003 starstarstarstarstar keep Rich, concentrated wine with deep cherry flavours and fine, ripe, round tannins more...
2004 starstarstarstarstar drink soon From the best appellations and producers, the Merlot is very ripe and concentrated with good aging potential more...
2005 starstarstarstarstar keep A quite attractive and charming which seems to have some staying power. more...
2006 starstarstarstarstar keep A tricky vintage that may not have the complexity and power of 2002, but charming and useful wines from vigilant winemakers. more...
2007 starstarstarstarstar keep Outstanding vintage in which ideal weather conditions and reduced yields created fragrant, full-flavoured wines with refreshing acidity and moderate alcohol levels. more...
2008 starstarstarstarstar keep Spring/early summer brought challenges but ideal harvest produced balanced wines with good depth of fruit, colour and flavour. Best will merit 4 stars. more...