Read more at: http://www.winesandvines.com/template.cfm?section=features&content=162580&ftitle=A%20CONVERSATION%20WITH%20Merry%20Edwards#
Copyright © Wines & Vines
Read more at: http://www.winesandvines.com/template.cfm?section=features&content=162580&ftitle=A%20CONVERSATION%20WITH%20Merry%20Edwards#
Copyright © Wines & Vines
Augustus Weed, Wine Spectator, Feb. 25, 2014
Vintners Hall of Fame
Watch the video of Merry being inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone in St. Helena on Feb. 18, 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1A55DZXgnRc
The Culinary Institute of America announces that Merry will be inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame in February 2013.
Sept. 20, 2012
"One of California's first successful female winemakers and a 40-year veteran of the industry, Merry Edwards has achieved legendary status with her Russian River and Sonoma Coast Pinots, many of them single-vineyard wines, which she has been perfecting since 1997. They're all fantastic, if pricey. Well worth it it you're looking for a special-occasion Pinot."
Orange County Register, May 9, 2011
"No discussion of Sonoma pinot noirs would be complete without a mention of pioneer winemaker Merry Edwards, who helped to blaze a trail for other female winemakers to follow. ... (She is a) visionary who helped establish an industry commitment to clonal diversity through her work and teaching."
Nancy Parode, Intowine.com, "Top Sonoma Pinot Noir," April 2011
James Beard Award semifinalist
For the fourth consecutive year, Merry Edwards has been nominated for a James Beard Award as an Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional.
"There are a number of very good California Pinot Noir producers, but for years one of my favorites has been Merry Edwards. Without a clear understanding and hands-on care by the winemaker, Pinot Noir can be nothing more than a simple red wine. Edwards understands Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and her wines always promise depth and complexity."
Gerald D. Boyd, winereviewonline.com, Nov. 30, 2010
"Merry Edwards is a maverick, having persevered in her goal of becoming a winemaker at a time when the profession boasted few women. Today, many of the industry's most celebrated winemakers are women -- and Edwards is, happily, one of them. Her Sonoma pinot noirs are finely crafted expressions of place that combine the structural grace of great burgundies with a distinctly Californian ripeness."
The Robb Report, Nov. 30, 2010
"Pick a Merry Edwards pinot, any pinot. They're all good."
Virginie Boone, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Nov. 14, 2010
Merry Edwards 2009 Russian River Sauvignon Blanc
"This wine was a revelation to me and quite the best Sauvignon I've tasted out of Sonoma. Straw coloured with a grassy, passion fruit nose; creamy palate with flavours of vanilla, peach and passion fruit; lovely integration of oak, great mouth feel and lingering on the palate. 93 Points."
Tony Aspler, The Wine Guy, June 2, 2010
"Pardon the pun, but if anyone has reason to be merry these days, it's Merry Edwards. Her signature pinot noir wines from California's Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast continue to garner kudos and reviewers' points. Her sauvignon blanc enjoys a rapidly growing reputation as one of the nation's best."
Bill Daley, chicagotribune.com, May 19, 2010
#3 Most Popular Pinot Noir
Merry Edwards also was named #26 of the top 50 best-selling wines in America's top restaurants.
Wine & Spirits Magazine, 21st Annual Restaurant Poll, April 2010
"Another notable (and female) winemaker right in (Russian River Valley) is Merry Edwards whose long and trailblazing career as a consulting winemaker (Mt. Eden, Matanzas Creek) has positioned her as one of America's top vintners. Her wines represent the pinnacle of achievement for Russian River fruit."
Bonnie Graves, "Wine, Dine, Refine," South Bay Magazine, March-April 2010
"After tasting her wines, one can see why ... she has come to be known ... as Reine de Pinot, one who artistically selects from nature and sculpts, in vineyard and winery, memorable works in that most difficult of media, Pinot Noir."
Harvey Finkel, "The Queen of Pinot," Massachusetts' Beverage Business, March 2010
"It is about time that the grande dame of Sonoma pinot - one of the most accomplished interpreters of this fickle variety - has a permanent home to work her magic. Merry Edwards is one of the world's best winemakers - and she just happens to be a woman."
Anthony Dias Blue, "The Grande Dame of Sonoma Pinot," The Tasting Panel, March 2010
"Merry Edwards has a magic touch with Pinot Noir, producing some of the most distinctive renditions of Pinot on the planet. As a specialist with the variety for over 35 years, she coaxes wonderful nuances of character from each of the vineyards she draws upon, amply demonstrated in the current 2007s."
Barbara Ensrud, BeWineWise.com, Winter 2009
Top 100 Wines of 2009 - #28
"Merry Edwards 2006 Klopp Ranch Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $57. Made in the Merry Edwards style, which is powerfully ripe and extracted, yet always balanced. Dazzles with enormous cherry pie filling, cola, sassafras, beef jerky, raspberry tart, anise, pepper and smoky cedar flavors that finish with amazing length. Yet the tannin-acid structure is superb, and the wine is totally dry. Beautiful now, and should age through 2012."
Wine Enthusiast magazine, December 2009
Top 100 Wines of 2009
"2007 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast -- Edwards' more modest Pinot cuvee is a standout in her lineup -- and an affordable one. With peppermint, soy and dried cherry, it's got a feisty profile, with lots of red-fruit highlights and a breezy energy."
San Francisco Chronicle, December 2009
Top 100 Wines of 2009 - #9 (#1 White Wine)
"Merry Edwards, whose eponymous label also produces Pinot Noir in Sonoma, shows her magic here with Sauvignon Blanc: This wine earns the highest rating to date for the varietal in the Golden State. Edwards, who prefers the aromatic Sauvignon Blanc Musqué clone, barrel-ferments the wine and performs bâtonnage (stirring on the lees) while it ages in barrel, which she says adds body and showcases riper flavors." Read the article here: http://www.winespectator.com/display/show?id=43767
The Wine Spectator, Winter 2009
"California Sauvignon Blanc is thriving — the spectrum of styles available is broader than ever, prices are attractive, and many of the best bottlings remain easy to find. More importantly, the wines just keep getting better and better, and this year's report includes the highest-scoring Sauvignon Blanc yet from the Golden State, the Merry Edwards Russian River Valley 2007 (96 points on the Wine Spectator 100-point scale, $29)."
The Wine Spectator, Aug. 31, 2009
"Edwards ... takes a very long view of Pinot Noir. Her winemaking career has spanned more than 35 years and she is considered one of California's leading Pinot experts. ... 'I've always loved wines that age well, and I'm spending a lot of time on ageability these days,' Edwards says. ... No matter that her ten Pinot Noirs are outstanding, Edwards continues to refine her ideas."
The Wine News, Summer 2009
"Merry Edwards, Proprietor and Winemaker of Meredith Vineyard Estate, Inc., has been crowned the 'Grande Dame' and 'Queen' of Pinot Noir. Her cutting-edge work with this varietal in the 70s and 80s, when America was not ready to drink, never mind create great Pinot Noir, broke the mold for winemakers everywhere. Launching her own brand in 1997 placed her on the cusp of the exploding popularity of quality American Pinot Noir. But her prestigious work with this and other noble varietals did not begin in a vineyard, a crushing tank, or even a winery. Merry Edwards came to wine through food, understanding that the combination of wine and food creates an ultimate culinary euphoria."
www.chefsblade.com, June 2009
"Few winemakers have graced our Best of the Best list with such pleasing frequency as Merry Edwards, who remains the undisputed mistress of American Pinot Noir – thanks in large part to her interest in clones and her understanding of their impact on the quality of the finished wine. The meticulous matching of appropriate Pinot Noir clones to vineyard sites has, in fact, been a key component of the tremendous success of her own wine program since she cofounded Merry Edwards Wines in 1997."
Robb Report, "Best of the Best," June 2009
"Trailblazer, pioneer and innovator, her story epitomizes the determination and possibilities of the human spirit. This is a celebrated narrative of enduring the gender prejudice of being one of the first woman winemakers, rising from the ashes of business setbacks, and with creativity, intellect and innovation, spearheading a path to quality in California. I have never met Merry Edwards. Yet, her wines reflect the unmistakable character of their maker’s journey. They are firmly structured, lively, graceful, balanced, subtle, complex, and always luring you back to the glass. This is a heavenly sanctuary for Pinot Noir lovers."
Bill Sanders, crushandpress.blogspot.com, June 2009
#1 Most Popular Pinot Noir
Merry Edwards tops the list for the 4th time in the past 5 years!
Wine & Spirits magazine, 20th Annual Restaurant Poll, April 2009
“(A)nyone would be hard pressed to find a woman winemaker in the Western Hemisphere that has more experience growing and making Pinot Noir than Merry Edwards.”
Alder Yarrow, vinography.com, March 24, 2009
“(Merry's) Pinot Noirs exhibit a restrained elegance that doesn’t overwhelm your palate or meal with big oaky tannins and high alcohol levels. Her wines aren’t about power – they are all about finesse. They seduce you with their charms and slowly reveal their secrets, one sip at a time. As you linger over a glass the wines become less elusive and slowly open up to display layers of deeply nuanced aromas and character. Underlying this are earthy flavors that are mellowed by balanced fruit and acidity.”
Summer Whitford, winespecialist.wordpress.com, March 11, 2009
“CULT PINOT: Although barely a decade old, Merry Edwards is already renowned for its Pinot Noir.”
Paul Hodgins, Orange County Register, Nov. 7, 2008
“The female winemakers emerging from California can all take a page from Edwards, a 33-year veteran of the vineyards. A pioneer who strives for perfection in every drop, she got into the business through her love for food. She became legendary for making some of the best pinot noir on the market -- including her critically acclaimed Russian River Valley version -- but she can tango with the whites, too. Her sauvignon blancs are in a class of their own, with citrus balanced with mango and other sensual tropical fruit flavors. She's got grace, spirit, artistic vision, and scientific training, and she understands how to share it all through her wine.”
New Jersey Life, October 2008
“(A)ny list featuring California wines should have a pinot noir from Merry Edwards. That wine really stands out for me.”
Debbie Zachareas a.q.i. "Must-Have Restaurant Wines," Vineyard & Winery Management, Sept./Oct. 2008
“Her wines, particularly her Pinot Noirs, are well known to collectors and have become a wine list staple in upscale restaurants. Accolades abound: The San Francisco Chronicle named her Winemaker of the Year in 2004, and her 2005 Sauvignon Blanc ranked 40th in Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2007 list.”
Simply Wine, September 2008
“The California wine country has enjoyed a female touch lately with more and more women. ... Recently, Merry Edwards, the grande dame of pinot noir, opened Merry Edwards Winery in the heart of the Russian River, strategically placed among her three estates.”
Nicole Alper, Celebrated Living, Fall 2008
“Merry’s Pinots these days are some of the boldest and most age-worthy produced in California, and very much in the style of a premier cru or grand cru Burgundy, with plenty of tannin and earthy complexities.”
Robert Whitley, creators.com, July 19, 2008
“La Reine, or Queen, of Pinot Noir is sitting pretty in her new winery up in Russian River Valley. She is a pioneering winemaker who has contributed more to clonal research and other viticultural aspects of Pinot Noir than any other American.”
Catherine Fallis, planetgrape.net, July 14, 2008
“Winemaker Merry Edwards is most associated with Pinot Noir. She makes several different ones, all terrific. But Edwards also makes one of the best California Sauvignon Blancs I've ever tasted, maybe THE best.”
Sam Gugino, Sam Cooks Newsletter, July 2008
“Today Merry and her wines are legendary … the stunning Meredith Estate Pinot Noirs have come to define the quality of the Russian River Appellation. Edwards also has worked with grapes grown at other Russian River vineyards … to make wines that are perfect expressions of both her winemaking style and the areas those grapes are grown in. Some of these wines … are amongst the most sought after California pinot noirs ever made.”
Aspen Times Weekly, May 4, 2008
Wine and Spirits magazine, April 2008
“Merry’s wines have always stood out as the products of a remarkable talent.”
Santa Rosa Press Democrat, "Dream Winery," Jan. 23, 2008
“Merry Edwards is one of California’s leading producers of Pinot Noir. She demonstrates her talents every year with a variety of bottlings from different vineyards. Unlike some wineries whose separate vineyard bottlings are more marketing than substance, Edwards’ reflect the unique character of the site.”
Michael Apstein, winereviewonline.com, Jan. 22, 2008
“Merry Edwards is one of the most consistent and talented Pinot Noir producers in California.”
Michael Apstein, winereviewonline.com, May 15, 2007
“For the third year running Sonoma winemaker Merry Edwards topped our list” as #1 Most Popular Pinot Noir. Merry Edwards Wines was also named #33 of the Restaurant Top 50 in the 18th Annual Restaurant Poll.
Wine & Spirits magazine, April 2007
“Edwards is one of California’s finest interpreters of the fickle Pinot Noir grape.”
Food & Wine, April 2007
“Like Michelangelo, who was fond of saying that he merely revealed in a block of marble the ideal shape that already existed within it, Edwards coaxes from her vineyards their ideal expressions of place.”
Brett Anderson, The Robb Report, March 2007
“Since the hit film 'Sideways,' Americans have been discovering pinot noir and vintners have rushed to accommodate them. A lot of the stuff is light and thin. Not the pinot noirs of Merry Edwards, who continues to go about business as usual, turning out examples celebrated for their rare amplitude.”
Mike Dunne, Sacramento Bee, Jan. 3, 2007
Merry Edwards is named one of “The Magnificent Thirty Wineries Best Capturing the Essence of Pinot Noir.”
James Laube, The Wine Spectator, Dec. 15, 2006
“Merry Edwards, the doyenne of the region (Russian River Valley), has proved that it can produce unusually age-worthy Sauvignon Blanc.”
Jancis Robinson, JancisRobinson.com, July 15, 2006
“Edwards has become the grande dame of California Pinot.”
Jamal A. Rayyis, Food & Wine Wine Guide 2006, “Best of the Best California Pinot Noir”
Artisan Winery of the Year
“Her consistent successes have earned her a place in our American Wineries of the Year list for the fourth consecutive year.”
Wine & Spirits Magazine, 2006 Buying Guide
“One of America’s Most Influential Winemakers. She is now regarded as one of California’s premier makers of Pinot Noir.”
Nick Passmore, Forbes.com, November 2005
“She makes wines with integrity. ... They are a great expression of Pinot Noir.”
Debbie Zachareas, wine director, Bacar Restaurant, quoted in an article by Virginie Boone, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, July 20, 2005
“Merry Edwards took the top spot, with her supple, generous Russian River wines.”
16th annual Restaurant Poll, Wine & Spirits Magazine, April 2005
“If there’s one person in the Russian River Valley who truly has a golden touch with Pinot Noir, it’s Merry Edwards.”
Greg Walter, WineCountry.com, January/February 2005
For the third consecutive year, Wine & Spirits Magazine named Merry Edwards Wines an Artisan Winery of the Year in their 2005 Buying Guide
“Merry Edwards takes on pinot noir with a passion and experience unmatched by any other practitioner in the state.”
Mike Dunne, Sacramento Bee, Dec. 15, 2004
Winemaker of the Year
“All of Edwards' Pinots are stunning — ripe yet elegant, complex and refined, with vivid aromatics and mouthwatering acidity.”
Linda Murphy, Wine Editor, San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 9, 2004
“I’ve spent a lot of time over the past years tasting Merry’s wines and there’s no question in my mind that she’s got a golden touch with Pinot Noir.”
Greg Walter, PinotReport, Issue #25
“Merry Edwards’ Pinot Noir is some of the best California has to offer. She has a stunning array of single vineyard wines … which offer earthiness and bright fruit.”
Michael Apstein, The Boston Globe, Nov. 24, 2004
Wine Spectator featured Merry Edwards in two stories on Nov. 15, 2004:
“Women Forge Ahead in California” and “Trailblazers.”
One of the 50 Most influential Winemakers in the World
"(P)ush the envelope’ … that is precisely what Edwards has done.”
Wine & Spirits, Fall 2004
“Merry Edwards, the Queen of Pinot, presides over a land called Russian River Valley. Since making her first Pinot Noir some thirty vintages ago at the historic Mount Eden Vineyards, Merry Edwards has gone on to become one of North America’s most respected Pinot Noir specialists. Far and near she has come to be known as the 'Queen of Pinot.' ”
Adam Dial, Appellationamerica.com, May 13, 2004
Wine columnist Frank Prial honors Merry Edwards as he sings the praises of Russian River Pinot Noir:
“For my money, the best of the California pinot noirs come from the Russian River area of northern Sonoma County. Much of the Russian River's fame can be traced to three vineyards, Rochioli, Olivet Lane and Allen, whose grapes have been used by various winemakers, including Burt Williams and Ed Selyem and Gary Farrell. Other prominent pinot makers in the Russian River appellation are Dehlinger, DeLoach, Martinelli and Merry Edwards.”
Frank Prial, New York Times, Dec. 3, 2003
“Merry Edwards Pinots are some of the finest from California, imbued with rich, dark fruit, superb structure and intriguing complexity. Though it is tempting to drink her wines at release when they are wrapped in youthful fat fruit, try to give them 4 to 8 years to develop impressive complexity and expressive bouquet.”
Barbara Ensrud, www.Bewinewise.com
Merry Edwards Russian River and Olivet Lane Pinot Noirs ranked No. 2 "Most Popular Pinot Noirs" in a national poll conducted by Wine & Spirits Magazine. "Pinot arouses the passions of sommeliers like no other grape," says the report.
Wine & Spirits Annual Restaurant Poll, April 2002
Leslie Sbrocco, New York Times, Dec. 4, 2001