Best Merlot Recommendation (For the Money)

IntoWine asked a panel of wine experts for their best Merlot recommendation taking cost into consideration: Great Merlots from Napa Valley easily run $50 to $75 and higher. The best value recommendations for Merlots that I’ve rated 92 points or higher in the last couple years—the only two that can be found for under $30—are the ’09 Fields Family from Napa Valley’s Oak Knoll Distric (92+ points, averages $26) and a delicious, complex Merlot from Slovenia, the 2008 Batič (92+ points; $29). Among Merlots I’ve rated 90 to 91+ points in the last couple years, the best values are Merryvale’s Starmont (averages $24, 91 points), Frostwatch Bennett Valley ($28, 91+ points), Waterbrook Reserve Columbia Valley, Washington ($23, 90 points), Field Stone Alexander Valley ($17, 90 points), and Wildhurst Reserve Lake County ($15, 90+ points). Richard Jennings, Featured Contributor and the Founder

Le Marche's Le Terrazze: Bob Dylan, Chaos & Some Great Italian Wines

Le Marche (pronounced lay Mar-kay) is a region in central Italy that borders the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Apennines to the west. Le Marche borders Emilia-Romagna to the north, Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio to the west, and Abruzzi to the south. The terrain is mostly hills and mountains once you get away from the coast. The area has a long history matching most of the historic conquests of Italy: it was occupied by the Gaul’s, colonized by the Romans, later it was invaded by the Goths and Lombard’s, then by Charlemagne. It was then mostly a papal state before finally being annexed in the mid-1800’s by the kingdom of Italy.

Merlot vs Syrah: Which Varietal Blooms Brightest in Washington?

Say “Oregon” and Pinot Noir comes to mind. Argentina? Malbec. And who can say “Shiraz” without thinking of Australia? But what grape will Washington wine country claim as it’s own as it expands in production and popularity? There are so many red treasures in this state, sometimes it is hard to say. But after my luscious Saturday tasting, I’m thinking Syrah and Merlot may duke it out for the prize.