Critical Acclaim

Merry Edwards Wines

Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir

Our understanding of how to choose the best Pinot Noir clone to highlight a specific terroir continues to grow. Merry came to recognize some of the classic California selections as best suited to warmer sites within Russian River Valley. The Pommard that is planted exclusively at Flax Vineyard is a perfect example of a good match for this northern location along Westside Road.

Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir

Critical Acclaim

  • 2018

    • 94 points

      "With the Pommard clone planted on gravelly loam in this warmer, northern end of the Russian River Valley, this Pinot Noir exhibits chalky tannins and bright cherry, with a sense of sweet beets, root bitters, pomegranate, and orange peel. Exciting mouthfeel, energetic and spiced."

      Meridith May, Tasting Panel magazine, Jan/Feb 2021

    • 93 points

      "The 2018 Pinot Noir Flax Vineyard shows a more red-toned profile than the other Pinots in the range. Cedar, iron, dried herbs, anise and leather add an attractive upper register. This mid-weight, expressive Pinot offers terrific persistence and long, clean finish."

      Antonio Galloni,, May 2021

    • 92 points

      "This vineyard-designate is tart and rich in crunchy red fruit, the body, which is full and fleshy on the palate, is rendered in an opulent style. Toasted oak and supple tannin add to the weight, breadth and complexity of the wine."

      Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, December 2020

    Read More Acclaim for 2018
    • Excellent

      "The whole spice box and flower garden open with the Merry Edwards Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018, Russian River Valley. The color is a dark but transparent cherry-magenta hue; in the nose — all the cherries you could ask for, plus lilacs and rose petals, smoke and sandalwood, cloves and allspice; it’s very foresty and brambly on the palate, asserting its large-framed power in dense, chewy tannins and shelves of dusty graphite-laced minerality; a few minutes in the glass bring notes of pomegranate, plums and just a hint of rhubarb; the finish is a finely meshed amalgam of all these elements."

      Fredric Koeppel,, April 2021

    • Four Stars

      "A complex pinot with layered notes of cherry, anise and white pepper. It’s full-bodied with a silky texture. Balanced, with nice minerality. Top rate."

      Peg Melnik, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Feb. 24, 2021

    • 91 points / "Very Highly Recommended"

      "Medium ruby; attractive, deep, ripe, baked cherry pie aroma with hints of cola and dried herbs; medium-full body; rich, textured, herbal, earthy, red fruit flavors with good acid balance, spicy notes, and undertones of toasty oak; medium tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended."

      Nick Ponomareff, California Grapevine, December 2020

    • 90 points

      "Nicely fruity in first look and well-built on the second, this wine is precise in its Pinot character and about mid-depth in its volume. Its focused black cherry and roasted vanilla aromas and flavors are firmed up by a quiet but evident streak of youthful tannin, and this wine, like the rest of its siblings, is going to stand the test of time."

      Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, February 2021

  • 2017

    • 93 points

      "From 100% Pommard clone vines, the 2017 Pinot Noir Flax Vineyard is medium ruby-purple in color and coiled on the nose, slowly giving way to raspberries, strawberries and red cherries with accents of aniseed, amaro, lilac and tangerine. It’s medium-bodied and silky with bitters-laced berry fruits, framed by lightly chalky tannins and finishing very long and fresh. This is approachable now but merits a bit more time in bottle."

      Erin Brooks, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, December 2019

    • 94 points

      "From a Middle Reach site along Westside Road, this robust, earthy wine is strong in firm tannin and overall structure. Earthy and bright in underlying acidity, it dazzles in dark, rich flavors of strawberry, blueberry and dried herb, a whiff of white pepper lurking. A finishing touch of dark chocolate leaves one wanting more."

      Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, June 2020

    • 90 points

      “A spicy style, with ripeness to the dark cherry, blackberry tart and dark currant flavors, matched to forest floor accents. Slate and graphite overtones show on the finish, revealing firm tannins.”

      Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator, May 2020

    • 93 points

      "One of the many attributes of Merry Edwards’ Pinot Noirs, is how different they taste.  Her range of vineyard-designated wines show the importance of site.  The 2017 Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir is almost at the opposite pole compared to the Bucher Vineyard.  Brooding and tightly wound, the 2017 Flax shows, when things finally emerge, more minerals and far less juicy fruit at this stage.  A more prominent, yet still engaging, bitterness appears in the finish reinforces the wine’s savory component.  Fine tannins reflect the care and talent of the winemaking.  Reticent at this stage, it’s a delicious young wine.  Its impeccable balance predicts that it will evolve and blossom beautifully.  As an aside, it receives the same numerical score as the Bucher despite being entirely different, showing the inadequacy of numbers."  

      Michael Apstein, Wine Review Online, December 2020

  • 2016

    • 95 points

      "In terms of density, Merry Edwards 2016 Pinot Noir from the Flax Vineyard falls in between that of the one from the Sonoma Coast and the Klopp Ranch. It delivers a wonderfully complex combination of red fruit flavors, spice and herbs.  The structure -- tannins and acid -- are there, but not intrusive.  Indeed, the acidity imparts liveliness.  Like all of her wines, its grandeur becomes even more apparent in the finish.  Expressive now, especially after an hour in the glass, I suspect it will be more dazzling in another year or two."

      Michael Apstein, Wine Review Online, Dec. 11, 2018

    • 95 points

      "This vineyard is located on Westside Road. 100% Pommard clone. Moderate garnet color in the glass. Assertive aromas of black cherry, bola and underbrush. Delicious core of ripe black cherry fruit backed by substantial but not intrusive tannins. More appealing elegance compared to other 2016 Pinot Noirs reviewed here. The finish is remarkable for its length and the display of haunting black cherry goodness. Even better when tasted several hours later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when more spice accent came out to enhance the regal fruit."

      Prince of Pinot, Jan. 16, 2019

    • 94 points

      "In Merry Edwards’ typical dark side style, this year’s Flax shows deep black cherry, plum, anise and lavender aromas. They transfer directly to a round palate with mouth filling texture and reasonable grip that extends the finish, where a touch of sweet bay leaf joins the mix. The recent sale of the winery made a big media splash -- I’m sure new ownership is thrilled to add such a great line to their portfolio."

      Rich Cook, Wine Review Online, May 7, 2019

    • 94 points

      "This is the style that suits Merry Edwards best, with richness and power at the forefront. This vintage from the Flax Vineyard shows tremendous depth and length, with glowering dark fruits and an earthy back note. The tannins are firm, but approachable.  Drink now or cellar for another three to five years."

      Robert Whitley, Wine Review Online, April 2019

    • "The Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir is superb: very refined in character and full bodied, it is a firmly structured wine, with medium richness, and wonderful length, with evident tannin. In aroma/flavors, it tastes of sour cherry, raspberry, rose petal, black tea, red licorice, and spicy oak."

      Ronn Wiegand, Restaurant Wine, February 2019

    Read More Acclaim for 2016
    • 93 points

      "Concentrated and silky with a linear style and juicy cherry notes; stylish, generous and balanced."

      Anthony Dias Blue, Tasting Panel, April 2019

    • 91 points

      "Merry Edwards started buying fruit from the Flax Vineyard on Westside Road in 2004, then took over farming, along with a long-term lease, in 2009. Her latest release is a classic Russian River Valley pinot, generous and round, its flavors of strawberry and darker cherry finely integrated with a gentle dusting of cocoa-scented oak tannins. Simple and lovely, it’s a crowd-pleasing pinot."

      Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits Magazine, April 2019

    • "An elegant pinot that’s extremely well crafted; it has great complexity and depth. Notes of cherry, black raspberry, brioche and cracked black pepper. It has firm tannins, yet manages to have a supple texture. Bravo."

      Peg Melnik, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Jan 9, 2019

    • 90 points / "Very Highly Recommended"

      "Medium ruby; fragrant, ripe cherry and red berry fruit aroma with hints of dried herb, cola, and baking spices; medium-full body; ripe, spicy, somewhat elegant, red fruit flavors with hints of licorice, cola, and dark chocolate; medium to medium-full tannin with a slight harshness on the finish; lingering aftertaste. Drinkable now, though will benefit from several more years of bottle aging. Very highly recommended."

      Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine, December 2018

    • 95 points

      "Located on Westside Road in the Russian River Valley AVA, the ‘Flax Vineyard’ is planted to Pinot Noir Dijon clone 4. The wine opens with intense aromatics of red currant jelly, black tea, blackberry cobbler and damp terroir. The aromatic range is entirely enticing and awakens the senses. Bright and intense, showing a wonderful minerality and sense of place, the wine unveils wonderful red and dark fruit flavors with citrus rind and earthy terroir accents. A stunning wine, enjoy this fantastic bottling over the next fifteen to twenty years. Drink 2018-2033."

      Dr. Owen Bargreen, Washington Wine Blog, Jan. 9, 2019

    • 90 points

      "Rose and lavender accent a thick round midpalate of concentration and full body in this Westside Road red. Savory, salty and tightly wound in firm tannins, it opens in the glass to reveal tart black cherry, orange peel and jolts of cardamom."

      Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, April 2019

    • 92 points

      "This midnight purple colored Pinot Noir from Merry Edwards is very good. It opens with a pleasant mild boysenberry and blueberry bouquet. On the palate, this wine is medium bodied, balanced, juicy and savory. The flavor profile is a tasty mild mineral influenced gentle blackberry and blueberry blend with notes of oak and red plum. The finish is rather dry and its moderate sticky tannins show nice length for a Pinot. I would pair this Pinot with a beef bourguignon."

      Ken's Wine Guide, May 28, 2019

  • 2015

    • 93+ points

      "The 2015 Pinot Noir Flax Vineyard is medium ruby-purple in color with a nose of crushed black berries and black cherries with touches of tar, damp soil and dried sage plus a waft of violets. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a solid frame of grainy tannins and well-played freshness, with layers of earth and black fruit notions that linger with great persistence."

      Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, April 2018

    • 94 points

      "Baking spice and baked plum highlight a juicy, velvety explosion of sultry fruit in this well-made, full-bodied wine. Toasted oak wraps around hints of pine forest and mushroom, with a layering of dried herb and a tart rhubarb-kissed finish."

      Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, March 2018

    • 93 points

      "At once both rich and slightly restrained as is the wont of its maker’s wines, this very deep and generously filled youngster is fit with a fine measure of well-extracted, ripe cherry fruit. It is a very solid, fairly big Pinot with plenty of juice to buffer its nominal tannins, and, if arguably a few years away from exhibiting real polish, it has the depth and the professional construction of a wine destined to age famously. Five years of forbearance will pay handsome rewards."

      Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines, February 2018

    Read More Acclaim for 2015
    • 93 points

      "Merry's vineyard-designate Pinot Noirs are limited production by definition but Flax Vineyard is more limited than most, so hurry on down to your favorite wine merchant. This vintage is dense and concentrated, showing aromas of rhubarb and black cherry with a slightly leafy character. The oak regimen provides a judicious touch of wood spice but lets the grapes do most of the talking. The tannins are moderate and nicely integrated. Drinkable now, but will improve with two to three years of bottle age."

      Robert Whitley, Wine Review Online, Jan. 9, 2018

    • "The yin yang of this wine makes it a knockout. Its earthy mushroom flavors coupled with tangy notes of red cherry and a hint of cranberry serve this pinot well. There are layered herbs in the mix, making this pinot even more interesting. Will turn heads."

      Peg Melnik, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Sept. 12, 2018

    • 92 points

      "Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, ripe, black cherry and strawberry fruit aroma with hints of dried herbs, cola, and baking spices; medium-full body; ripe, spicy, somewhat elegant, nicely balanced, red and dark fruit flavors with a hint of cola; medium to medium-full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Appealing to drink now and over the next three to five years. Very highly recommended."

      Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine, January 2018

    • 95 points

      "What a pleasure to taste the new releases from Merry Edwards. It’s not often I get to taste most of the lineup all at once, and it’s great fun to see what each site does in the winemaker’s experienced hands. There’s a sense that comes with long-term vineyard familiarity, and that sense mixed with Merry’s artistry brings all the nuance possible from each site. The Flax Vineyard this vintage is dark and brooding, with black cherry and blackberry, both damp and dry earth notes, moderate oak toast and brown spice character throughout. There is some age-worthy structure here, so decant near term, or go 5 to 7 years in the cellar."

      Rich Cook, Wine Review Online, Jan. 23, 2018

    • "A firm, intensely flavored Pinot Noir, the 2015 Flax is impressive: full bodied, concentrated, balanced, and somewhat tannic on the finish, tasting of plum, blueberry jam, red licorice, black tea, and spicy oak. Wonderful quality; needs at least 3 more years of bottle aging."

      Ronn Weigand, Restaurant Wine, July 2018

    • 91 points

      "Lush nose; smooth and dense with meaty, rich plum and cherry fruit; notes of earth and spice; savory, deep and long."

      Anthony Dias-Blue, Blue Lifestyle, November 2017

  • 2014

    • 95 points

      "From a Westside Road-adjacent vineyard in the heart of the northern Middle Reach, Flax is rocky and the vines a decade old. Expect luxurious power and a velvety mouthfeel from this wine, its black tea, pomegranate and rhubarb flavors brushed with allspice, sage and cola."

      Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, April 2017

    • 91+ points

      "The 2014 Pinot Noir Flax Vineyard gives a medium ruby color with a purple hint and core of tar, black soil and black berry scents with hints of mulberries, roses and thyme. Medium-bodied, taut and youthful in the mouth, it has a solid frame of grainy tannins and lively acid, finishing long and earthy."

      Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate, April 28, 2017

    Read More Acclaim for 2014
    • 96 points

      "The Flax vineyard is one of Edwards' relatively obscure gems. She only makes 500 or so cases, and the wine is difficult thought not impossible to find. It's typical of the Merry Edwards style, meaning it's robust and juicy, and it holds nothing back. With layered aromas of cherry, raspberry and blueberry and a gentle touch of wood spice, this is a crowd pleaser that will only get better with age. Drink now, or over the next five to seven years."

      Robert Whitley, Creators Syndicate, March 2017

    • 94 points

      "The Flax Vineyard bottling bombards the palette -- in a very nice way -- with lovely aromatics and juicy dark red fruit.  It speaks directly to you.  Savory elements appear, almost reluctantly, but then persist through a long finish.  Similar to her other Pinot Noirs, the tannins are suave giving the wine a velvety texture."

      Michael Apstein, Wine Review Online, Jan. 24, 2017

    • Puff Puff 91 points

      "Creamy oak and lots of juicy, ripe, red cherry fruit are beautifully joined in the inviting aromas of this deep and well-defined offering, and, even if structured in a way that encourages aging, the wine is very outgoing with enormous immediate appeal. It is moderately full and slightly fleshy in feel with temperate tannins affording a nice bit of tactile grip, and, if sure to tempt early drinking with the likes of grilled lamb chops, it promises to expand on its considerable pleasures if set aside for several more years."

      Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, February 2017

    • "Impeccable"

      "This winery submitted its usual stable of impeccable, preeminently North Coast style of single-vineyard Pinot Noirs. This year, if I had to choose one, I choose this Westside Rd. planting (located in Russian River Valley’s warmer Middle Reach sub-area) because, well, it is so darned Russian River-ish: lush and ripe (certain writers would say “opulent”), effusive, downright flashy, yet not over-the-top, in its black cherry fruit profile; meaty, dense, layered, supple and rich as get-out on the palate."

      Randy Caparoso, Culinary Wine & Food Adventures, March 2017 (World of Pinot Noir)

    • 91 points

      "This dark scarlet colored Pinot Noir from Merry Edwards opens with fragrant raspberry tea and oak bouquet. On the palate, this wine is full bodied, nicely balanced, round and juicy. The flavor profile is an extracted red currant and cinnamon blend with notes of oak, black pepper and minerality. I also detected hints of dried cranberry towards the end. The finish is dry and its acidity and flavors stick around for quite some time. This hearty-styled Pinot would pair well with a beef bourguignon."

      Ken's Wine Guide, May 5, 2017

  • 2013

    • 93 points

      "This is a Westside Road site known for its rocky soils, and the wine presents sassafras, cherry-berry and roses on the entry before laying down a tightly woven mix of sour, salty cranberry and blood orange. It is softly voluptuous and velvety, though young, with a biting chewiness that should mellow in the cellar. Drink now through 2028."

      Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, July 2016

    Read More Acclaim for 2013
    • 94 points

      "The 2013 Flax Vineyard pinot is quintessential Merry Edwards: Big, bold, meaty and delicious. Merry has a knack for making rich pinot without losing the essential elegance that makes it so charming and seductive. The Flax from this excellent vintage offers notes of earthy forest floor, notes of black and red fruits and spice, coupled with abundant tannins that will prolong the life of this wine for up to ten years or more."

      Robert Whitley, Wine Review Online, May 10,2016

    • StarStarStarStar

      "The Flax is outstanding: refined in character, full bodied, and well balanced, with a very long, crisp finish, suggesting at least a few more years of aging. It has evident richness and aromas/flavors reminiscent of plum, blueberry, cherry, rose petal, and spicy oak."

      Ronn Weigand, Restaurant Wine, August 2015

    • 92 points

      "Deep ruby color; smooth, luscious with juicy black raspberry and hints of vanilla oak; bright and long, lovely."

      Anthony Dias Blue, Tasting Panel magazine, March 2016

  • 2012

    • 94 points / Editors' Choice

      "The bouquet of this earthy, aromatic vineyard-designate wine is bursting with freshly picked wildflowers and earth. The palate is mouthwatering in blueberry, strawberry and a bite of sour cherry. Lively acidity keeps the proceedings on a hair-raising ride, before diving headfirst into a long finish of bacon and dark chocolate."

      Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, July 2015

    Read More Acclaim for 2012
    • 90 points

      "Firm and chunky, with a tight, dense core of earth and mineral, laced wild berry and blueberry flavors. This earns points for direct intensity, yet eases off gracefully, ending with a mix of berry fruit."

      James Laube, Wine Spectator, May 2015

    • 91 points

      "The 2012 Pinot Noir Flax Vineyard brings together a very classic sense of Russian River richness with expressive floral and savory notes that add finesse. The flavors are lifted and very nicely delineated throughout. Crushed rose petal, raspberry, mint and white pepper add the final layers of nuance on the distinctly aromatic, high-toned finish."

      Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media, May 2015

    • 96 points

      "Most Merry Edwards Pinots are built for the long haul, some moreso than others. The 2012 Flax Vineyard Pinot from Merry is a beast of a wine along the lines of beauty and the beast. This vintage is rich, dense and layered, showing an intense raspberry aroma, spice and a hint of earthy forest floor. It is young and bold, in need of another two or three years in the cellar to come into its own, but when it does it will be one of Merry's finest efforts to date from the exceptional vineyard."

      Robert Whitley, Wine Review Online, Feb. 17, 2015

    • 93 points

      "One of the things I admire about Merry Edwards’s Pinot Noir is that the single vineyard bottlings are different one from the other.  The 2012 Flax Vineyard is more muted and more fruit focused at this stage compared to the Klopp Ranch with less savory character.  The tannins are a touch more prominent, but not astringent or out of place given the overall weight of the wine.   If you give it time -- a half hour or so -- you’ll appreciate that there’s a lot going on in the glass.  An attractive subtle bitterness in the finish is refreshing because it reminds you that this is not a jammy overwrought wine, but rather a seriously complex one."

      Michael Apstein, Wine Review Online, Aug. 25, 2015

    • StarStarStarStar

      "The Flax 2012 is an elegant, aromatic wine that is full bodied, supple in texture, crisp, and finely balanced. It has intense fresh fruit character (plum, cherry, strawberry), with floral, spicy, toasty overtones. Very long finish. Delicious."

      Ronn Weigand, Restaurant Wine, April 2015

    • "This Week's Wine Picks"

      "A pinot with great complexity. Aromas and flavors of Bing cherry, blueberry, currant and white pepper. Wins you over with its depth of flavor."

      Peg Melnik, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Nov. 14, 2014

    • 90 points / "Very Highly Recommended"

      "Medium ruby; attractive, intense, raspberry and blackberry fruit aroma with hints of cedar chest and cola; medium-full body; concentrated, deep, textured, red and black fruit flavors ... lingering aftertaste. Needs a few more years of bottle aging."

      California Grapevine, April 2015

    • Puff Puff 90 points

      "Here again is a fully ripe Pinot that is long on extract and serious intent, and, while it displays unmistakable kinship with its several like-minded cellarmates, it is the sturdiest and most sinewy of the bunch. It is a big wine to be sure, but it carries nary an ounce of fat, and the firming effects of its ample acid and tannins tag it as one that most definitely needs a wait. It may not reach quite the same heights as its partners from the Klopp Ranch and the Meredith Estate, but it is assuredly worth hiding away for a half-dozen years."

      Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, June 2015

    • 92 points

      "Bright and juicy with smooth texture and lovely black cherry and raspberry; spice and mellow acid structure; bright and long. "

      Anthony Dias Blue, Tasting Panel magazine: "Blue Reviews," April 2015

  • 2011

    • Puff Puff 93 points

      "If by no means a "light" wine, the Flax Vineyard Pinot shows a slightly lighter, more graceful side than its several siblings, and it earns the nod as our favorite by dint of its careful crafting and exemplary balance. It is long on fully ripe cherries and shows great fruity stamina with well-measured oak in quiet but constant support, and its neatly proportioned spine of fine structural tannins bodes well for another half-dozen or more years of steady improvement."

      Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, June 2014

    Read More Acclaim for 2011
    • 93 points

      "Dry and tough in tannins, this is a great wine that needs aging. The vineyard is in the warmer Westside Road part of the valley, but the chilly vintage nonetheless dominates, giving the wine hard tannins that accentuate its dryness and acidity. Waiting until at least 2022 should allow the sweet plum, cherry and mulberry fruit flavors to emerge. It could still be rocking and rolling in 2029. Cellar Selection"

      Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast, June 2014

    • 91 points

      "Slightly high-toned aromas of strawberry, plum, mocha, spices and woodsmoke. Sappy and nicely concentrated, with lovely lift to the flavors of red berries, black tea and spices; I like the savory peppery influence of the whole-cluster vinification. Finishes with ripe, dusty tannins, subtle spice and earth tones and good peppery energy and grip. A very good 2011 pinot, but I'd wait a year or two before pulling the cork."

      Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, May 2014

    • 93 points

      "The Pinot Noir from the Flax Vineyard has more savory elements and less apparent oak at this stage.  The tannins are more prominent, but the wine is still balanced and well proportioned.   It’s a longer, more layered wine, still with a luxurious texture.  The Flax vineyard bottling needs a few years in the cellar to allow its glory to shine."

      Michael Apstein, Wine Review Online, May 2014

    • 92 points

      "Here’s a Pinot Noir from specialist Merry Edwards that will reward further bottle aging.  The aroma profile includes black cherry, damp earth, tea, fall spice, leaf and stem notes. On the palate it’s grippy as Pinots go, with notes of oak forward at this stage of its evolution.  I’d give it a few years to fully integrate and dazzle my Pinot loving friends with a successfully full-bodied wine that will prove to be an exception for the vintage."

      Rich Cook, Wine Review Online, March 2014

    • 90 points

      "This dark ruby colored Pinot Noir from Merry Edwards opens with an inviting boysenberry bouquet with a hint of plum. The flavor profile is a ripe blackberry and smoky oak blend with hints of black pepper, tea and a touch of anise. This finish is dry and its flavors linger for quite some time."

      Ken's Wine Guide, June 2014

  • 2010

    • 94 points, Cellar Selection

      "Merry Edwards has had a long relationship with this Westside Road vineyard, which has given her some very great wines. This 2010 continues her offering of delicious Pinots of early appeal, but whose structural integrity guarantees ageability. The wine is lush in raspberries, cherries and currants, yet is elegant and crisp in acidity. You can drink it now, but it will gain in the bottle after 2018."

      Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast, October 2013

    Read More Acclaim for 2010
    • 91 points

      "The 2010 Pinot Noir Flax Vineyard is wonderfully perfumed and expressive. Dark red cherries, flowers, crushed rocks and mint are all layered in a finely delineated wine endowed with gorgeous finesse. This is a fairly laid back, refined style for the Russian River, but it works, and quite nicely."

      Antonio Galloni, April 2013

    • 95 points

      "(D)ark and juicy. There’s no question it’s a big style of Pinot Noir, yet it’s refined and not overdone. Waves of flavor -- fruit, earth and herbs -- bombard the palate without ever assaulting it. Lovely savory notes and a whiff of bitterness in the finish keep this impressive wine balanced.  It would be a good match for grilled duck breast or even a roasted chicken with wild mushroom sauce now."

      Michael Apstein, Wine Review Online, Sept. 10, 2013

    • StarStarStarStarStar

      "(V)ery finely flavored and supple in texture; a Pinot Noir with depth and complexity. It has a long flavor evolution, excellent balance, and a very persistent finish. It tastes of plum, rose petal, raspberry, cherry, spicy oak, and toast. Exceptional."

      Restaurant Wine, December 2012

    • 92 points

      "Bright black cherry and spice with juicy, racy flavors and good depth; tangy, long and intense; balanced and vibrant."

      Anthony Dias Blue, The Tasting Panel, March 2013

    • 92 points / "Very highly recommended"

      "(A)ttractive, fragrant, complex, spicy, red fruit aroma with hints of sandalwood, white pepper, and cola; medium-full body; rich, textured, earthy, black cherry fruit flavors with good depth and firm structure."

      Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine, April 2013

    • "Good (+)"

      "Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely scented with aromas of fresh Bing cherries, baked cookies and spice. Bright, sappy, cherry and raspberry fruit clothed in tawny tannins. Richly concentrated with complimentary oak treatment and some finishing intensity. Hard to ignore the prodigious fruit. Good (+)."

      Prince of Pinot, June 23, 2013

    • 92+ points

      "Good bright dark red. Deep aromas of black raspberry, black cherry, black tea, coffee and mocha. Concentrated, sappy and savory, with a saline minerality adding interest to the black cherry and dark plum fruit flavors. A strong impression of soil made me think of Burgundy. Finishes with serious sappy depth and a firm spine of broad, dusty tannins to support aging. Offers an impressive combination of density, structure and lift."

      Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, May 2013

  • 2009

    • 92 points

      "Dark cherry flavors, light hint of tobacco, sage-like notes, savory accent."

      Dick Rosano,, Feb. 24, 2012

    Read More Acclaim for 2009
    • 90 points

      "Silky and bright with red cherry and juicy berries; lively, fresh and elegant; long and stylish."

      Anthony Dias Blue, The Tasting Panel, April 2012

  • 2008

    • 96 points

      Wine Enthusiast magazine, August 2011

    Read More Acclaim for 2008
    • 'Excellent'

      "The Merry Edwards Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008, Russian River Valley, is an earthy, loamy wine that bursts with notes of black cherry and rhubarb, cranberry and cloves, briers and underbrush; this is substantial stuff, dark, fully-fleshed out, full-bodied, quite dry, with an inviting texture like fold upon fold of satin sheets warmed by a sleeping body; it feels etched with graphite, violets, dried red currants; the finish is long and smoky. Excellent."

      Fredric Koeppel, Bigger Than Your Head blog, Nov. 27, 2011

    • Puff Puff - 93 points

      "The 2008 Flax is a massive, deep, nearly brooding wine that conveys enormous fruit potency, and, while it is long on ripeness and loaded with rich oak, it is not excessive in either. It is supple and meaty and on the full end of the Pinot Noir spectrum, yet its varietal credentials are never in doubt. It smacks of cola, plums, ripe cherries, tobacco and a wee touch of chocolate, and it too is  a wine whose very best lies more than a couple of years down the road."

      Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, June 2011

    • 93 points

      "This recent addition to Merry's stable of vineyard-designate Pinots exhibits gorgeous black cherry and plum fruit, a heady floral note, and a hint of spice. It's rich and mouth-filling yet beautifully balanced, with supple, long tannins that give the promise of a bright future for this new Merry Edwards star."

      Robert Whitley, Wine Review Online, June 28, 2011

    • 91 points

      "This very dark ruby colored Pinot noir opens with a mild oak and black plum bouquet with a hint of black cherry. On the palate, this wine is medium bodied, nicely balanced, and quite savory. The flavor profile is a moderate oak infused plum with notes of black pepper and black raspberry. The finish is dry and its mild tannins are slightly prolonged. This wine really smoothes out with some air."

      Ken's Wine Guide's 2011 Pinot Noir Recommendations, Aug. 30, 2011

  • 2007

    • 90 points

      "Firm and pleasantly earthy, with mineral, dried currant and berry flavors that are loamy, tight, complex and savory ... with a tobacco leaf edge."

      James Laube, Wine Spectator, March 1, 2010

    Read More Acclaim for 2007
    • Puff Puff 91 points

      "Lively, still nascent aromas of black cherry and wild flowers are enhanced by background notes of creamy oak and lightly spicy notes. Full and finely balanced on the palate with acidity that adds a bracing note to its flavors, this one joins its peers in offering fine promise for future beauty."

      Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, June 2010

    • 90 points

      "Medium-bodied with ripe black raspberry flavors. Finish shows very nice length for a Pinot.", May 7, 2010

    • 92 points

      Wine Enthusiast, March 2010

    • Wine of the Week

      "A pinot that resembles blackberry pie. It has depth and concentrated flavors. Notes of raspberry, herbs and spice. Lush."

      The Press Democrat, Feb. 22, 2010

    • "Highly recommended"

      "Toasty, ripe dark cherry fruit aroma with notes of clove and spice box ... herbal, lean, red berry fruit flavors ... Highly recommended."

      California Grapevine, Feb.-March 2010

    • 9 / 10 points

      "Medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells appealingly of raspberry and hints of green herbs. In the mouth it is a beautiful concoction of tart cherry and raspberry flavors, underscored by light tannins that stretch nicely into a long finish."

      Alder Yarrow,, March 24, 2009

    • 92 Points "Make Room in the Cellar"

      Deep ruby color; deep red cherry, cola and rhubarb aromas; rich, deep cherry flavors with earthy coffee notes ... good structure and balance; long finish. Big and rich with a good dose of oak and tannin ... interesting complexity underneath."

      PinotReport, Oct. 1, 2010

  • 2006

    • 95 Points

      "(T)his is one outstanding Pinot Noir from superstar Pinot winemaker Edwards. I gave it 95 points for its sheer lusciousness, but it’s also age-worthy."

      Steve Heimoff, May 13, 2009

    Read More Acclaim for 2006
    • " of the best Merry Edwards wines I have tasted"

      "For more than three decades, Merry Edwards has been making a range of small-production pinot noirs from various appellations in California's Sonoma County. The 2006 Russian River Valley Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir is one of the best Merry Edwards wines I have tasted. This ruby-colored wine is all elegance, made in a style that eschews the over-the-top, massive-fruit style that has come to define too many California pinot noirs in recent years."

      Edward Deitch, Vint-ed, Jan. 29, 2010

    • 93 Points

      "Bright, medium ruby hue. High-toned herbal and forest floor aromas give way to black fruit nuances and rich spice aromas tinged with graphite minerality. This Pinot reveals its considerable charms slowly. It is soft on the palate with ripe tannins and luscious fruit imbued with crisp acidity that provides ample structure on the long finish."

      Lyn Farmer, The Wine News, Summer 2009

    • 94 Points

      "Intense and complex. Raspberry, cherry, floral notes, hint of eucalyptus.", June 29, 2009

    • 90 Points

      "Tart red fruit, mineral nose; tasty, tart red fruit, mineral palate with good structure; medium finish."

      Richard Jennings,, June 29, 2009

    • "(A) voluptuously silky texture. There's a sense of earth on the nose and palate, herbal notes and spicy fruit."

      Bill Daley, The Chicago Tribune, May 13, 2009