2017 HALL Merlot Napa Valley $40 - 90 Points

This terrific example is a reminder what merlot can be when made well and in the right places. It's also a reminder that merlot remains a largely overlooked variety, so it can be found at more reasonable prices than, say, cabernet or pinot noir. HALL's merlot, made of Napa Valley fruit, isn't the most inexpensive by a long shot, but it is made very well and to stunning results. From the warm, welcoming aromatics to the open-stitched texture that nests rich, black fruit flavors with cocoa, spice, and relaxed oak, it's a full, friendly package indeed. Blows the doors off most of the cabernets in Napa these days. 90 points.