Could this be the legendary Napa Valley’s finest red wine maker? Perhaps so!
Making outstanding wines takes a lot of patience, focus, talent and time. Merryvale Winery was actually the first Napa production facility built after the repeal of prohibition, so they unarguably win in the ‘time’ category. Located right on 29 in St. Helena, across the street from the always tasty Gott’s Roadside (formerly Taylor’s Refresher) old school drive-in inspired gourmet burger joint, Merryvale embodies all that a premium, boutique Napa winery should be: lush landscaping, a beautiful and classic/classy tasting room and a history of award winning 90+ point Napa wines.
Our introduction to Merryvale began way back in the year 2001 when we attended dinner at a local gourmet restarurant. My wife and I (Jave) were just getting introduced to premium and super-premium wines as, until that point we had barely a layman’s knowledge of what made a good wine, a great wine or a sub-par beverage. A server at the dining establishment we attended recommended a great Chardonnay he had recently tried and we tried it on his word. The Chard was the Silhouette, and yes it was outstanding! Upon our first visit to Napa later that year, we made sure that Merryvale was a stop on our list.
Our first tasting experience concluded with some sips of the award winning Profile red blend. Now, not knowing much about this blend, both my wife and I concluded that this wine was something special. After purchasing a few bottles to the tune of about $65 bucks a pop to store in the cellar, we were surprised to see the subsequent ratings of this amazing ’96 and ’97 vintage (97 points on Wine Spectator that year). The Profile has gone on to have subsequent vintages rank in the high 80’s and 90’s every year since! Due to the constant high marks, the Profile now sells for upwards of $200 a bottle. No, it’s not an everyday drinking wine for us casual drinkers!
While the brand has grown and evolved through the years, the Schlatter family has always focused on high quality product over some gimmick (no caves, no castle, no name-hype, et al.) to this day!
Watch as we sit down with both the new winemaker and winery owner Laurance Schlatter to discuss whats behind this amazing winery in Napa Valley!