91 Points, Michael Rockich, AppellationsTen
Attention hedonistic wine lovers! This generous ruby, amber-hued wine is a real fruit bomb – a riot of luscious fruits, not the least of which are black Damask Plum, blackberry, fig compote, and black cherry jam. Long legs serpentine their way down the sides of the glass of Markham‘s smoothly textured 2015 Merlot boasting ripe fruit and tannins leading to an endless finish. If you like super-hedonistic wines, this one is for you! Quite unique also!
This Estate Grown entry has more than a dollop of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in the mix at 18% and 7% respectively, with the clear majority of Merlot at 75%. Fermentation took place in stainless steel for this 10-barrel production which experienced 17 days of skin contact followed by 15 months in 100% new French oak barrels. The wine reads 14.8% Alcohol with a pH of 3.44.
The beginnings of the Markham winery are reputed to be with one Jean Laurent, an immigrant from the Bordeaux region of France. He built a new 6,000 square-foot winery around 1890 in Napa Valley, and is reported to have become a major player in the Valley’s wine industry before the end of the century.
After Laurent passed, Prohibition came and went while his winery passed through a succession of owners. In 1978 Bruce Markham purchased the winery, combining it with his recently purchased vineyards nearby in Napa Valley, thus founding Markham Vineyards. Markham became the 4th producer of Merlot in Napa Valley when they introduced their first vintage from Nathan Fay’s noteworthy grapes. Markham‘s Merlot budwood selections were originally taken from the noteworthy Three Palms Vineyard. About $30.
A sample for review.