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2013 Markham Merlot Napa Valley

2013 Markham Merlot Napa Valley

I’ve been wanting to try this wine for a while. A friend of mine always recommends it and Costco carries it for a great price when compared to other retailers. Also, Napa Valley had great growing seasons in 2013 & 2014, and both vintages of this wine are available currently.

The ’13s are a little harder to find, but I do see them occasionally. A few weeks ago, when I had an ibotta coupon for $8 off of three Markham wines, I managed to dig out three 2013s from the bottom of a bin in Cumming, GA. If you can’t find this vintage, the 2014 is very close from what I’ve been told.

This is definitely a cab-lover’s Merlot. I probably would mistake this for Cabernet in a blind tasting. Ripe blueberries on the nose reveal its true self, however, alongside rose petals and new leather. This wine is soft and noticeably sweet on the palate. The 2013 vintage in Napa Valley challenged winemakers with soaring sugar levels that unfortunately did not increase linearly with ripeness. The challenge was allowing the grapes to reach their ideal phenolic ripeness without letting the sugars get too high.

This Merlot has a strong mid-palate of mocha, blackberries, and vanilla, with a dried cherry finish. The lingering finish is what you would expect from a better-quality ’13 Napa as the dry growing season produced powerful and concentrated wines.

Wine Spectator gave the 2013 Markham Merlot a 91 rating & “Best Buy” designation. The 2014 came in at a close 89. The 2014 Napa Valley vintage, as a whole, was an excellent one, producing wines of similar quality to 2012 and 2013. But is there ever really a bad vintage in Napa?

I am eager to try the 2014 Markham Merlot because I could have easily paid twice as much for this wine and not felt ripped off. It hovers around $18 in the Costcos that I’ve seen it, and with the “$8 off of 3 Markham Wines” Ibotta coupon, I paid $15 and change per each. I am hesitant to recommend Ibotta because of a personal negative experience but if you already have the app and are familiar with how it works it may be worth a try to see if this discount is still available.

Rating: 92 points
Purchased in Cumming, GA
ABV: 14.2%