WE 90 AG 89 Pts - According to Wine Enthusiast - An expressive version of the variety, this includes tiny percentages of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Leathery plum and blueberry are the standouts in terms of aromas and flavors, with a soft, spicy streak that lifts the experience, finishing in a dusting of cocoa powder.
According to Antonio Galloni - Another terrific value, the 2012 Merlot Vintner's Reserve is a tasty, easygoing red to drink over the near-term. Savory herbs, gravel, smoke and tobacco add nuance to a core of dark fruit in a friendly, supple Merlot with plenty of appeal.
According to Robert Parker - Kendall-Jackson has made a major effort to increase the quality of Merlot, because of the climbing sales of this varietal and all the negative publicity Merlot received (unfairly) after the breakthrough wine comedy, “Sideways.” The 2012 Merlot Vintner’s Reserve, which comes from their estate vineyards in Sonoma, represents 126,000 cases of a blend of 97% Merlot and the rest Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Only about 16% new oak is used, and both French and American are employed. This is relatively serious Merlot, with notes of ripe black cherry, coffee bean, a hint of chocolate and herbs. This is medium-bodied, fleshy, deep and ideal for drinking over the next 5-6 years. 97% Merlot, 2% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. 14.5% ABV.