Critical Acclaim

Merry Edwards Wines

Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

This Pinot Noir has been crafted each vintage since 1997 with an eye toward highlighting the beautiful fruit grown throughout the appellation. Once we create our vineyard-designated wines, each of which showcases a unique terroir, we pick from the remaining lots those that will make up the blend for this wine. Being able to selectively choose from this array of vineyards allows us to clearly illustrate the diversity of terroir in the Russian River Valley Appellation, and the stunning aromas and rich wines of depth that we are able to produce year after year.

Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Critical Acclaim

  • 2020

    • 93 points

      "An alluring nose of woody spice, moss, suede and black cherry. Full-bodied with fine, slightly tight tannins. Earthy and savory on the palate with great intensity and depth. Nicely spiced. Give this a little more time to soften."

      James Suckling,, April 2022

    • 93 Points

      “This smooth, ripe and inviting wine wafts raspberry, strawberry and cherry aromas and offers all that fruit in the flavors as well. While full bodied and rich in texture, it also has an appetizing vein of good acidity that slices through the palate and finish.”

      Jim Gordon, Wine Enthusiast, February 2023

    • 93 points

       "Winemaker Heidi von der Mehden is doing a terrific job keeping the standards high with this iconic label. ... It's an instant Russian River classic, showing terrific dark berry fruit, conifer, and sweet cedar aromas. There's plenty of grip and sappy tannins on entry with a coiled-up energy that reveals lovely mixed berry fruits, clove, and a tangy blood orange acidity. The long juicy finish is punctuated by brandied black cherries and flamed orange peel. Imminently refreshing."

      Jonathan Cristaldi, Decanter, December 2022

    • 93 points

      "Moving into some black fruits with the 2020 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, it offers notes of dark fresh earth, toast, and cinnamon stick. The texture is full, with fairly gripping structure, and the palate is rich with black cherry, tea leaf, and forested earth. Drink this over the next 10 or more years."

      Audrey Frick,, August 2022

    • 92 points

      "Packs some punch, with a dense and juicy core of linzer torte, blackberry and black cherry flavors. Well-defined, with light anise and apple wood accents through the structured finish. A bit unbridled in feel but will certainly have fans."

      James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, Sept. 30, 2022

    Read More Acclaim for 2020
    • 90 points

      “Medium ruby-purple, the 2020 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley has restrained, slightly rustic rhubarb and red and black cherry aromas with touches of burnt orange peel, licorice and laurel leaves. The medium-bodied palate is firm and gently chewy with muted freshness and a spicy finish."

      Erin Brooks, The Wine Advocate, July 2022

  • 2019

    • 95 points

      "A hint of stemmy earthiness leads the way to a luxurious, expansive and velvety palate. The acidity is edgy and fresh, lifting the savory and floral components over a rich, complex berry core."

      Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, November 2021

    • 94 points

      "Aged sur lie for nine months in 55% new French oak, it is a merriment of earthly delights. Just-picked strawberries in tilled soil, mocha-kissed cherries and cinnamon coriander are demonstrative on the nose and palate. Basil and sage are echoed in the red-fruited finish."

      Meridith May, Tasting Panel magazine, July/Aug. 2021

    • 92 points

      "Medium ruby, the 2019 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley opens with savory scents of cranberry sauce, rhubarb, cherries and violet perfume with earthy and meaty touches. The medium-bodied palate is lushly fruited with a grainy texture, juicy freshness and long, spicy finish."

      Erin Brooks, The Wine Advocate, June 3, 2021

    • 90 points

      "The 2019 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley reveals a healthy ruby color as well as terrific raspberry and cherry fruits, medium-bodied richness, a supple, elegant mouthfeel, present yet light tannins, and a good finish. It's charming, and while it drops off slightly on the finish, it’s balanced and satisfying. It should have 7-8 years of longevity."

      Jeb Dunnuck,, July 2021

    Read More Acclaim for 2019
    • 92 points

      "Sourced from a host of esteemed sites throughout the Russian River Valley, this shows off cola and red currants that march on with shades of tilled earth and Bing cherry on the nose. The palate is soft and round with a lovely sense of mouthfeel, viscosity and poise. Ripe red fruits mingle with minerals, damp earth and shades of wild mushroom on the palate."

      Owen Bargreen,, Sept. 30, 2021

    • 'Stunning'

      "Enchanting from the get-go with ripe raspberry, freshly picked wildflowers and anise seeds with touches of potting soil; the fiercely electric flavors of rhubarb, pomegranate and sweet paprika has a linear focused body with lots of drive. This blend of various vineyards is really stunning."

      Cathrine Todd, July 2021

    • 91 points

      "Medium ruby color. So fresh and juicy on the nose with red plums and wild raspberry, over top of rhubarb, cola, violets, some nuanced cedar and sarsaparilla. Full but fresh with smooth tannins, a pleasantly chewy but vibrant feel with black cherries and raspberry jam fruit. Violets, rhubarb, white pepper, along with some earthy, dusty tones and herbal tea, add complexity to this juicy, fun Pinot."

      Isaac Baker,, July 2021

  • 2018

    • 94 points

      "Supple in tannin and earthy in black tea, this appellation wine is delicious, with depth and freshness. Lively acidity boosts a core of dark cherry, pomegranate and cherry—the fruit well contrasted in nutmeg and clove."

      Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast "Best of Year" Issue, January 2021

    • 92 points

      "The 2018 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) is a fabulous introduction to these wines. Bright and juicy, the 2018 captures all of the natural radiance of the Russian River while retaining terrific nuance and vibrancy. Ripe red/purplish fruit, rose petal, spice and mint all race out of the glass. Perfumed floral notes resonate on the finish. The 2018 is so delicious - it is the sort of bottle that is opened and then immediately finished."

      Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media, August 2020

    • 95 points

      "Best known for its vineyard-designate Pinot Noirs, Merry Edwards also gets stunning results from its appellation-specific Pinot, in this case from the Russian River Valley. This weighty Pinot Noir opens on the nose with an intriguing floral note, followed on the palate by expressive layers of cherry and raspberry. With firm but beautifully integrated tannins, it is an impressive example of a powerful Pinot built for the long haul yet ready to drink now."

      Robert Whitley, Wine Review Online, August 2020

    • 90 points

      "The 2018 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley has a nose of cranberry sauce and baked rhubarb with accents of blood orange, tea leaves, earth and potpourri. The medium-bodied palate is bright and spicy, soft and juicy with an amaro-laced finish."

      Erin Brooks, The Wine Advocate, August 2020

    Read More Acclaim for 2018
    • 92 points

      "The riper and deeper Merry Edwards Russian River Valley bottling, whose fruit comes from a variety of vineyards in that warmer AVA, is a fascinating contrast to their Sonoma Coast bottling. A weightier wine with black rather than red fruit tones, the Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is juicy and well within bounds despite a 14.5 percent-stated alcohol. It also has an alluring bitterness in the finish."

      Michael Apstein, Wine Review Online, February 2021

    • Excellent

      "The Merry Edwards Pinot Noir 2018, Russian River Valley, displays a dark ruby-mulberry hue with an ethereal rim; vivid notes of violets and rose petals, sandalwood, sassafras and rhubarb unfold layers of spiced and macerated black and red currants with hints of loam and wood smoke; on the palate, this pinot noir is propelled by vibrant acidity and a touch of graphite minerality, while its lithe, supple texture is steeped in elements of tobacco, pine forest, briers and brambles; the wine pulls up more fresh, damp loam on the finish. One hesitates to term this the winery’s 'entry' pinot noir; it’s better than many other flagship wines."

      Fredric Koeppel,, April 2021

    • 4 Stars

      "This smoky pinot with racy red fruit is exquisite. It has layered flavors, with notes of cherry, cola and sage. Great minerality. Firm tannins. Juicy and striking."

      Peg Melnik, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, March 23, 2021

    • 91 points

      "Deep ruby color. Smells of juicy cherries, red plums, red licorice, cola, with earth and violets. Chewy feel on a medium/full-bodied palate with zippy acidity, which balances the mouthfeel nicely. Saucy plums, raspberries, strawberry jam, along with notes of cola, violets, coffee, potpourri. Delicious but vibrant, too. Classic Russian River goodness."

      Isaac Baker, The Terroirist, June 2020

    • 90 points

      "With its clear look at bright, pure cherry-like fruit, this bottling is very close to classic. ... It is medium-full to full on the palate and near to smooth save for some finishing firmness, and while it will hold up well in bottle for two to four years, it does invite enjoyment now alongside dishes like broiled rib chops or even salmon napped in beurre blanc."

      Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, June 2020

    • 92 points

      "This is rich, silkily textured and bold with seamless black cherry and blackberry fruit, showing some nice texture with a bit of structure. This is ripe and rich for a Pinot, but there is good balance, with a distinctive spiciness adding some framing to the lush fruit. There’s richness and depth here: ripe but structured, in a modern mould."

      Jamie Goode, Wineanorak, Oct. 24, 2020

  • 2017

    • 93 points

      "This wine is tangy and fresh, with lively acidity carrying flavors of red cherry, cranberry and blueberry. Lifted tones of rose and white pepper counteract a full-bodied richness and complements the lushness of the fruit."

      Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, December 2019

    • 92+ points

      “The appellation 2017 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley spent 9 months in French oak. Its ruby color is followed by impressive notes of black raspberries, spiced black cherries, earth, and hints of incense. Rounded, supple, nicely concentrated, and with fine yet present tannins, this is a classic Pinot Noir that’s going to keep for at least 7-8 years, possibly longer.”

      Jeb Dunnuck,, June 2019

    • "An intense pinot with complex aromas and flavors. Notes of cherry, a hint of currant and anise. It has a supple texture, with a gorgeous melding of flavors. This delicious pinot ends with a savory note. Spot on."

      Peg Melnik, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, June 5, 2019

  • 2016

    • Best Wines for Fall: Six Experts Weigh In

      "As we begin to crave comfort fare such as braised dishes and stews, we need a red wine with enough structure and bright acidity to cut through the richness. Pinot Noir fits that bill. Merry Edwards is one of the leading ladies of winemaking, known for her brilliant and luscious Pinot Noirs chock-full of enticing aromas of raspberries, spiced cherries, violets, and earth." Read the article here: Robb Report: Best Wines for Fall

      Alpana Singh, Master Sommelier at Seven Lions and Terra and Vine, Chicago, as quoted in Robb Report by Sheila Gibson Stoodley, Sept. 21, 2018

    • 92 points

      "Far too often a Pinot producer’s appellation bottlings are not given their full due and are seen as being less worthy of attention than those bearing the name of a specific vineyard, but experience teaches that is not always the case and no better example exists than this inviting effort. It is a fairly big, but very well-built wine that is generously fruited with the structure to age into better, and it shows the very careful winemaking that we have come to expect from Merry Edwards. It is delicious now, but we would counsel against hasty drinking as it is a good three to five years away from its increasingly complex best."

      Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines, November 2018

    • 91 points

      "Herbal and forested in savory elements like rose petal and black tea, this is a gorgeously rich and round red wine, a true showcase of the appellation and sure to please a crowd. Red and black cherry are met by wild strawberry and lush waves of depth."

      Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, December 2018

    Read More Acclaim for 2016
    • "The RRV bottling is a phenomenal Pinot Noir; perhaps the very best yet produced by the winery. It is quite supple in texture, full bodied, intensely flavored, beautifully balanced, and long on the palate, with evident tannin, and a very long finish, tasting of blackberry, cherry, black licorice, rose petal, black tea, nutmeg, and spicy oak."

      Ronn Wiegand, Restaurant Wine, February 2019

    • 92 points

      "The 2016 Russian River appellation bottling shows Merry Edwards’ blending prowess. Drawing from many vineyard sources she produces harmony of aroma and flavor that solidly represents Russian River Valley’s tendency toward dark cherry and cola aromas and flavors. Added is rich oak spice and moderate toasty character, bright acid, moderate grip and a long finish. Decant well or age a few years."

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

    • 91 points

      "If you tasted this wine blind, I bet you’d never guess that this is a winery’s entry-level offering. But that’s really not a fair bet, as this is no ordinary winery, and Merry Edwards is no ordinary winemaker.  This is a sizeable Pinot Noir that is loaded with open, delicious flavors, and yet it also shows lift and freshness that makes for excellent versatility at the table, and tireless enjoyability sip after sip.  Based on how good this is, I’m licking my chops at the prospect of tasting Merry’s 2016 single vineyard Pinots."

      Michael Franz, Wine Review Online, July 3, 2018

    • 91 points

      "This dark ruby colored Pinot Noir opens with mild pomegranate and plum bouquet. On the palate, this wine is medium bodied, balanced and savory. The flavor profile a tasty red plum and pomegranate blend with hints of craisin and wild strawberry. The finish is dry and its flavors drift away nicely. This Pinot is very food friendly. I would pair it with a lamb chops."

      Ken's Wine Guide, Dec. 5, 2018

  • 2015

    • 94 points

      "Made from grapes sourced from several sites across the appellation, this shows deft winemaking skill in its velvety, gritty texture and beautiful aromas and flavors of cured meat, rose petal and Asian five spice. Bright acidity lifts the tones of cranberry, rhubarb and mushroom earthiness, with a touch of crushed stone."

      Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, March 2018

    • 92 points

      "Medium ruby-purple colored, the 2015 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is scented of mulberries, warm red plums and red currants with touches of garrigue, nutmeg, cloves and tilled soil. Medium to full-bodied, the youthful core of crunchy red fruit and earthy layers is well-framed with chewy tannins, and it finishes with a spicy kick."

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

    • "Great Wines for Thanksgiving"

      "A downright sexy mix of earth, chocolate, cloves, and rose petals on the nose leads to a rush of berries edged with citrus." Read the article here:

      Sara Schneider, Sunset Magazine, November 2017

    • 91 points

      "If you are a Pinot Noir enthusiast and you would like to take a walk on the dark side, the Merry Edwards Russian River Pinot might be the place to start. The 2015 is a powerful wine that exhibits deep, dark, layered black fruits, firm tannins and wood spice, with a slightly earthy, slightly floral nuance lurking in the background. It's the next best thing to one of her splendid vineyard-designate Pinots."

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

    Read More Acclaim for 2015
    • 92 points

      "Don’t shy away from the Merry Edwards appellation bottlings -- they source from the same sites as the vineyard designates, but are built for more near term enjoyment. The Russian River Valley Pinot Noir delivers on that promise, with juicy cherry, a touch of raspberry and bright spice, fine acid balance and judicious oak enhancement. A great sipper or a meat accompaniment -- any color will do."

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

    • "What sets this pinot apart is its depth of flavor. It has tangy red fruit and savory notes of earth and mushroom. It’s a complex pinot, with just the right amount of spice in the mix. This supple pinot is knockout."

      Peg Melnik, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Feb. 21, 2018

    • 90 points

      "This dark ruby colored Pinot Noir from Merry Edwards open with a black raspberry bouquet with a hint of clove and black licorice. On the palate, this wine is medium bodied, slight acidic and savory. The flavor profile is blackberry with notes of clove and oak. I also detected hints of black pepper and black raspberry in the background. The finish is dry and its acidity and flavors are nicely prolonged."

      Ken's Wine Guide, February 2018

    • "The 2015 Russian River Valley is exceptional: a luscious, richly flavored wine that is well balanced, fine and complex in flavor (cherry, raspberry, plum, black tea, rose petal, spicy oak), with a long, harmonious finish. Can be aged further."

      Ronn Weigand, Restaurant Wine, July 2018

  • 2014

    • 93 points

      "A blend from several of the producer’s finest vineyards, including Georganne, Flax, Olivet Lane and Klopp, this offers complex notes of smoky lavender and licorice. Velvety texture underlies mouth-coating flavors of blackberry jam, pomegranate and cardamom, finishing tartly in acidity."

      Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, June 2017

    • 90 points

      "Medium ruby-purple colored, the 2014 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley has expressive black cherry and black raspberry notes with hints of violets, underbrush and yeast extract. Medium-bodied, plush and juicy in the mouth, it has a lively backbone and great length."

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

    • 92 points

      "Also reflecting its origins, the Russian River Valley bottling delivers more black fruit-like flavors rather than the red fruit of the Sonoma Coast. In contrast to the cooler Sonoma Coast bottling, this one is fleshier with a hint of savory notes. The fine-grained tannins contribute to its supple texture."

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

    Read More Acclaim for 2014
    • Puff 90 points

      "It may not come with the prestige of single-vineyard designation, but this well-conceived effort is a wine that rivals its costlier mates in depth and fruity purity. It keys on decidedly juicy cherries from first sniff to finish and hints at increased complexity to come, and, although it is thoroughly enjoyable right now, its concentration, its careful structure and its striking palatal length send the clear message that this is a Pinot Noir that will last and only get better and better with time."

      Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, February 2017

    • 92 points

      "Merry's 2014 RRV Pinot is a bold, meaty wine that shows darker fruits with a hint of black tea and firm tannins. Merry's Pinots are typically robust, and this one's no exception. Though it would benefit from an additional year or two in the cellar, it is enjoyable now. Serve this bad boy with grilled meats or hearty stews, or pungent older cheeses."

      Robert Whitley, Wine Review Online, April 18, 2017

    • Star

      "The Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is superb: ripe and intense in character (black cherry, blueberry, red currant, rosehips, peach), it is also quite rich and long on the palate, with vibrant acidity and a very persistent finish, displaying overtones of cedar, toast, and oak."

      Ronn Wiegand, Restaurant Wine, February 2017

  • 2013

    • 90 points

      "An outstanding example of Pinot Noir, the 2013 Pinot Noir has a beautiful dark ruby color, nice earthy, plum, black cherry and berry scent, medium to full body, good acidity and ripe, well-integrated tannin. Merry Edwards has been making Pinot Noir for more than 40 years, so it is no surprise she hits the highlights with this varietal. This young, vibrant Pinot should age beautifully for 10-15 years."

      Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, March 2016

    Read More Acclaim for 2013
    • 95 points

      "The producer’s larger-production offering, this in no way suffers from not having a vineyard designated. Instead, it shows the prowess of blending, delivering a big, bold style with elegance and grace. Tangy cranberry and orange rind wrap themselves around powerful acidity and a silky body, finishing with notes of earth and cardamom."

      Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, June 2016

    • 90 points

       "It may not be as complex as the winery’s vintage-dated efforts, but this bottling is balanced, keenly focused on the pure fruit of the Russian River Valley, sports a slight but attractive whiff of rose petals and has good continuity from front to back. Its vital sense of balance does allow it to drift towards the pert end of the red cherry spectrum, and that slight bias makes it a bit more useful with lighter dishes like veal chops or even pan-grilled salmon now and over the next few years."

      Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines, February 2016

    • StarStarStarStarStar

      "The Russian River Pinot is a splendid wine: supple, rich, well balanced, and finely flavored; a wine with both breadth and depth. It is crisp and long on the palate, with a very long, persistent finish, tasting of cherry, rosehips, red licorice, raspberry, toast, and spicy oak. Exceptional."

      Ronn Weigand, Restaurant Wine, August 2015

    • 90 points

      "Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, forward, deep, fragrant, spicy, red currant and raspberry fruit aroma with a hint of cocoa; medium-full body; deep, rich, cedary, layered red fruit flavors with earthy notes and good acidity and structure; medium-full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Deserves a few more years of aging. Very highly recommended."

      Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine, January 2016

    • "Absolutely striking"

      "A smoky pinot with bright cherry fruit and savory notes. This pinot has a great depth of flavor. Lush texture. Lingering finish. Absolutely striking."

      Peg Melnik, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Jan. 6, 2016

    • 90 points

      "This bottling comes from a variety of vineyards within the Russian River area and initially conveys a chunky black fruit essence. As it sits in the glass, engaging savory notes emerge striking a yin-yang type of balance. A hefty wine, though far from the all-too-common 'Pinot-masquerading-as-Syrah' style, it has a graceful footprint. Though eminently enjoyable now, I would decant it or at least let it sit in the glass for a half hour to allow its flavors to emerge."

      Michael Apstein, Wine Review Online, December 2015

    • 90 points

      "As with just about all Merry Edwards wines, you'll want to give this a good decant if you want to get into it in the near term.  Deep black cherry, damp earth, brown spice, and touches of leaf and a hint of menthol come through on the nose and in the mouth, with a firm grip throughout.  A touch of oak shows on the finish now, but the decanter or the cellar will integrate that easily ... all of (Merry's) 2013's that I've had the pleasure of tasting should find their way into your collection."

      Rich Cook, Wine Review Online, Feb. 16, 2016

    • 90 points

      "Merry's Russian River Valley appellation Pinot is a solid wine that is rich and earthy with notes of spice and a fair amount of grip on the back end. It needs another two to three years to show its best, but is drinkable now if decanted and given some air."

      Robert Whitley, Wine Review Online, Feb. 16, 2016

    • 90 points

      "This dark violet colored Pinot Noir from Merry Edwards opens with a fragrant blackberry bouquet with hints of black raspberry and wet stone. On the palate, this wine is full bodied, slightly acidic, juicy and savory. The flavor profile is a mineral and mild smoky oak influenced ripe blackberry with notes of black raspberry. The finish is dry and its flavors fade away nicely."

      Ken's Wine Guide, January 2016

  • 2012

    • 90 points

      "Sourced from six different vineyards, this is a broadly pleasing wine, fruity in blackberry and raspberry that veers even into cranberry and cassis territory without getting bogged down. Substantial and lush, it’s tightly woven in tannin and savory herb, ready to open itself over time. Patience will reward with more exotic interweavings of vanilla-cola and tea."

      Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, July 2015

    Read More Acclaim for 2012
    • 92 points

      "This is Merry's entry level Pinot. Sort of. While it may not have the same cachet as her vineyard-designate Pinots, the RRV is an impressive wine nonetheless. Earthy and tarry, with a distinct leafy character, the nose is the first clue this is an old-fashioned Merry Edwards blockbuster. On the palate it has weight and depth, with bold black and red raspberry aromas, a hint of forest floor and a finish that shows a bit of wood spice. The tannins are firm, suggesting another year or two in the cellar might benefit the wine immensely."

      Robert Whitley, Wine Review Online, April 7, 2015

    • "Wines you have to try"

      KCBS Food and Wine Editor Narsai David takes a trip to Russian River Valley and sings the praises of Merry's Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc:

      Narsai David, KCBS Radio, March 13, 2015

    • StarStarStarStarStar

      "The Russian River bottling is exceptional: round, intensely flavored, and full bodied; a concentrated wine with ripe, complex aromas/flavors (cherry, raspberry, cassis, strawberry, toast, vanilla, oak), and a long finish. Great value!"

      Ronn Weigand, Restaurant Wine, April 2015

    • 92 points

      "Merry Edward's 'normal' bottling shows her artistry as a blender, with fruit from six different Russian River vineyards in play.  Vibrant cola rides over black cherry fruit, mild damp earth and sandalwood aromas, with excellent translation to flavors on the palate.  The finish shows concentration and integration of the flavors and lingers long.  This makes a great solo sipper, or a pairing for roast pork or game birds."

      Rich Cook, Wine Review Online, April 14, 2015

    • Puff Puff 91 points

      "It is not at all uncommon that Ms. Edwards' appellation bottlings are accomplished Pinot Noirs that should not be seen as being somehow lesser in stature, and this one emphatically makes the point. It is deep in defined, ripe cherry fruit, comfortably filled out with vanillin oak and gathers complexing elements of sweet spice as it goes, and it teases with the supple, near-velvety feel of well-made Pinot before firming up nicely at the end. It is very much a wine deserving of age and will continue to grow for at least another five or six years."

      Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, June 2015

    • 90 points

      "Merry Edwards consistently makes a stunning array of Pinot Noirs.  Four recent releases from the 2012 vintage continue her streak.  This one, a blend from grapes grown in several vineyards in the Russian River Valley, delivers a wonderful tension between ripe fruit flavors and smoky savory nuances.  Nicely balanced, its texture seemingly caresses the palate.  It clearly conveys the ripe quality of California Pinot Noir but does so with a Burgundian signature of flavor without weight."

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

    • 91 points

      "This dark ruby colored Pinot Noir from Merry Edwards is very good. It opens with a cherry-cola and mild vanilla oak bouquet. On the palate, this wine is medium bodied, balanced and fruit forward. The flavor profile is a tasty red raspberry with notes of oak and plum. I also detected hints of strawberry and cola. The finish is dry and its flavors drift away nicely."

      Ken's Wine Guide, Aug. 12, 2015

    • 90 points

      "Medium-light to medium ruby; initially restrained, red and black berry fruit aroma with hints of toasty oak and cocoa; medium to medium-full body; forward, rich, red and black fruit flavors with good depth and balance; medium to medium-full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Enjoyable to drink now. Very highly recommended."

      Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine, March 2015

    • 90 points

      "Lush and dense with ripe blackberry and cassis; spicy with notes of earth and cola; long, balanced and lovely".

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

  • 2011

    • 90 points

      "Bright, deep red. Wild, brambly boysenberry and blackberry aromas are accented by a note of sassafras. Suave, supple and intense, with good peppery lift as well as some very ripe suggestions to the flavors of dark berries, violet, smoke and earth. Finishes with a restrained sweetness and a touch of dryness."

      Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, May 2014

    Read More Acclaim for 2011
    • "Luscious and compulsively drinkable"

      "Merry Edwards' name is well known to lovers of elegant California Pinot Noir, and this Russian River Valley wine is a perfect example of the winemakers' style. Although the wine is quite refined, it's also luscious and compulsively drinkable. You may want to eat a second chicken just to justify a second bottle."

      Lettie Teague, The Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2014

    • 90 points

      "Merry's basic Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is made in the same rich, full-throated style as her vineyard-designate wines, but the price is less painful and they are ready to drink upon release. The 2011 delivers juicy red-fruited aromas of raspberry and strawberry, with an intriguing earthiness."

      Robert Whitley, Wine Review Online, March 2014

    • 90 points

      "Merry Edwards consistently produces a stunning array of Pinot Noir and 2011 was no exception.  This one, a blend from vineyards within the Russian River Valley, is the most straightforward and most immediately appealing.  Hints of sweet oak are still apparent but marry well with savory notes.  This luxuriously textured Pinot Noir has good weight without heaviness, making it a good choice for a robust cut of beef tonight."

      Michael Apstein, Wine Review Online, May 2014

    • 90 points

      "This opaque and dark ruby colored Pinot Noir from Merry Edwards opens with blueberry and boysenberry like bouquet. On the palate, this wine is full bodied, slightly acidic and juicy. The flavor profile is a ripe black raspberry and oak blend with notes of black pepper and plum. The finish is dry and its flavors are very nicely prolonged. This fruit driven Pinot will be a crowd pleaser."

      Ken's Wine Guide, June 2014

  • 2010

    • 91 points

      "Most Pinot Noirs would kill to have this depth of flavor. Although it’s the winery’s most basic, non-vineyard-designated Pinot, it’s a fantastic wine, rich, mellow and delicious. Offers wave after wave of cherries, currants, cola, pomegranates and persimmons that are as sweet as jam, yet the finish is thoroughly dry. The wine is a masterful blend of seven vineyards."

      Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast, October 2013

    Read More Acclaim for 2010
    • 91 points

      "The 2010 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is a big, juicy, exuberant wine loaded with character. Plums, black cherries, menthol, licorice and sweet spices all literally explode from the glass. This dark, full-bodied Pinot is loaded with Russian River character. The 2010 isn't particularly subtle, but it is flat-out delicious in its huge fruit and generous. inviting personality. Readers who love rich Pinots will flip out over the 2010."

      Antonio Galloni, April 2013

    • StarStarStarStar+

      "(V)ery 'Burgundian' in the best sense (flavor, texture, balance, oak integration). Fleshy in texture and complex, this is an intensely fruity (raspberry, cherry, plum jam, red licorice) wine with layers of oak complexity (toast, caramel, woodsmoke), and excellent depth and length. Very long persistence."

      Restaurant Wine, December 2012

    • "Highly recommended"

      "(A)ttractive, fragrant, spicy. Bing cherry and red berry fruit aroma with a hint of clove; medium-full body; rich, textured, herbal, red berry fruit flavors with overtones of toasty oak."

      Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine, April 2013

    • 91 points

      "This opaque and very dark ruby colored Pinot Noir from Merry Edwards opens with a black currant bouquet with a hint of old oak and boysenberry. On the palate, this wine is medium bodied, slightly acid, mouthwatering and juicy. The flavor profile is a ripe plum with notes of black currant and old oak. I also detected some hints of black pepper and black raspberry. The finish is dry and its moderate tannins show some nice length."

      Ken's Wine Guide, July 29, 2013

    • 91 points

      "The 2010 RRV is Merry's "now" pinot noir, with bright red-fruited aromas, a touch of lightness and elegance on the palate, and integrated tannins that provide a bit of grip without astringency. There is a hint of damp earth and a long, lingering finish that is sure to please even the most demanding of pinot lovers."

      Robert Whitley, Wine Review Online, June 2013

  • 2009

    • 91 points

      "This firm wine features tangy acidity but also ripeness that leads to berry pie. Full-bodied, elegant and balanced, very tight and vibrant, this is slow to unfold, but gains as it does."

      James Laube, Wine Spectator, July 27, 2011

    Read More Acclaim for 2009
    • 90 points / "Very highly recommended"

      "Attractive, fragrant, earth, black cherry fruit aroma with hints of cola and smoked meat ... dark cherry fruit flavors with firm acidity and notes of toasty oak."

      California Grapevine, March 2012

    • StarStar+

       "A full-bodied, supple, beautifully balanced Pinot with generous fruit character (plum, raspberry, black licorice), crisp acidity, and a persistent finish. A wonderful wine."

      Restaurant Wine, July 2012

    • "I'm thrilled, captivated ..."

      "I think one of the things Pinot Noir/Burgundy fanatics love about the variety is a certain sauvage character -- a kind of wildness of flavor that sometimes expresses as earthiness. ... I'm a Pinot/Burgundy fanatic, so I love this flavor characteristic. I'm smelling and tasting it now in the Merry Edwards 2009 Russian River Pinot. ... When I get that in RR Pinots, I'm thrilled, captivated ... though very drinkable now ... I think it will get even better with some bottle age. It's balanced, the key to aging, and likely will be even more interesting and intriguing."

      Barbara Ensrud, Be Wine Wise, October 2012

  • 2008

    • No. 1 Pinot Noir

      Merry Edwards was named No. 1 Pinot Noir in Wine & Spirits Magazine's 22nd annual Restaurant Poll.

      Wine & Spirits Magazine, April 2011

    Read More Acclaim for 2008
    • 'Excellent'

      "The 2008 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir "features scents and flavors of slightly roasted black cherries, currants and plums with a hint of blueberry and smoke. Wonderful presence and tone here, great lift from vibrant acidity, intriguing aspects of fruitcake and cloves; you feel the gravitational pull of sanded tannins through the finish. A deeply gratifying specimen (and completely to Russian River type) of the pinor noir grape. Excellent."

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

    • 93 points

      Cellar Selection

      Wine Enthusiast magazine, August 2011

    • 90 points

      "This very dark ruby colored Pinot opens with a plum bouquet with hints of blueberry and pomegranate. On the palate, this wine is light to medium bodied, balanced, and juicy. It is very easy to drink. The flavor profile is a very tasty black plum and red currant blend with a hint of gentle old oak and black pepper. The finish is dry and its fine tannins are gentle and easy going."

      Ken's Wine Guide, July 10. 2011

  • 2007

    • 90 points

      "Tight, firm and vibrant, full-bodied, with a mix of fresh earth, mineral and dusty berry fruit that gets a nice lift on the finish, where this is the most complex and tempting."

      James Laube, Wine Spectator, 2010

    • 92 points

      "Marked by fresh, sleek acidity and firm, dusty tannins, this is a Pinot to stash in the cellar for a while. ... (L)et the black cherries, red currants and cola mesh with the oak and transform with the magic of bottle age."

      Wine Enthusiast, Dec. 31, 2009

    • 92 Points "Smart Buy"

      "Medium-deep ruby color; deep, ripe, earthy, lavender aromas with red cherry notes; rich, ripe, full red cherry flavors with earthy, herbal notes; silky texture, good structure and balance; long finish. Deep, rich Pinot with lots of layers."

      PinotReport, Oct. 1, 2010

    Read More Acclaim for 2007
    • 93 Points

      "Year in and year out, Merry Edwards makes fabulous Pinot Noir, whether it's her single vineyard wines or one like this, a blend from seven different vineyards throughout the Russian River Valley. With this wine, she manages to capture the ripe fruit flavors common to California Pinot Noir and elusive herbal earthy notes. Autumnal leafy nuances and a floral component add depth and complexity but not weight. Silky tannins impart a glossy texture."

      Michael Apstein, Wine Review Online, December 2009

    • 90 Points

      "This is a rich Russian River Valley pinot, emphasizing the sweetness of oak, of dark plum and figgy fruit. There's plenty of weight and ripeness, but the wine is seamless and doesn't feel heavy. Brighter floral tones add a touch of elegance, even while this has the power to match braised oxtail."

      Wine & Spirits Magazine - Year's Best Pinot Noirs, April 2010

    • Wines for Thanksgiving

      "Merry is possibly America's greatest master of Pinot Noir. She offers several bottlings, including some single vineyard Pinots, but this Russian River Valley wine is too good to pass up. Her Pinots are truly works of art."

      Dick Rosano,, Nov. 24, 2010

    • "The Perfect Complement"

      "This is one of the most elegant pinots I have tasted in quite some time, with loads of flavors and structure carrying all the way to the finish."

      Lain Bradford, The Island Packet, Aug. 11, 2010

    • StarStarStar

      Four Stars

      Gothic Epicures VinCuisine, Dean Tudor, Tasting at Vertical in Toronto, June 2, 2010

    • 91+ Points

      "Deep ruby; expressive terroir notes, black raspberry, earthy with a floral grace note ... velvety mouth feel; sweet fruit, plump middle and firmly structured."

      Tony Aspler, The Wine Guy, June 2, 2010

    • StarStarStar

      "Good, firm, well-knit, black cherry and toasty oak flavors."

      Quarterly Review of Wines, Summer 2010

    • Exceptional

      "Black cherry and herbs with ripe fruit in the mouth; heftier than most."

      Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences, June 10, 2010

    • 90 Points

      "While solidly on the varietal track and showing a good sense of well-ripened cherries as its major theme, this weighty working stands slightly apart from its cellarmates by dint of its accents of roasted walnuts and earth."

      Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, February 2010

    • StarStarStar

      "Merry Edwards made her considerable reputation on distinctive pinot noir wines from California's Russian River Valley, so it seems right that one of her wines came in first in a blind tasting of California and Oregon pinots... Full fruit flavor deepened with woodland notes and a sense of the earth. Evocative nose offered touches of hay, smoke, cedar and spice. Colored a beautiful deep garnet. Serve with seared duck breast, beef stew, foie gras."

      Bill Daley, The Chicago Tribune, Jan. 6, 2010

    • 92 points

      "Merry Edwards has another winner with this offering from the Russian River Valley. It is a brilliant dark ruby in color. It opens with a mild red raspberry bouquet. On the palate, this Pinot is medium bodied, very well balanced, and really smooth. The flavor profile is a very tasty strawberry with notes of black raspberry. The finish is dry and its fine and very well managed tannins are very nicely prolonged. This wine would pair nicely with a pork tenderloin."

      Ken's Wine Guide, Aug. 13, 2009

    • 91 Points

      "Medium garnet-crimson hue. Lovely bouquet of black fruit compote, forest floor and smoke. Very expressive on the palate with cola and soft black and red fruit flavors accented by a bit of mocha in a lush, silky texture with a long finish."

      Lyn Farmer, The Wine News, Summer 2009

  • 2006

    • More generous...

      "It's easy to pay a lot of money for domestic pinot noir. Some wines aren't worth the money, but these are some good ones if you have the cash... The 2006 Merry Edwards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is more generous, with juicy cherry and raspberry, nice spice and fine tannins."

      Laurie Daniel - San Jose Mercury News, Nov. 18, 2008

    Read More Acclaim for 2006
    • Quintessential Russian River Valley

      "...this wine is quintessential Russian River Valley. The terroir here makes wines that have abundant plum, dark berry, and dark sour cherry notes on both the nose and the palate that are lip smacking and lush. The full body and velvety texture hint at the Titian-style ripeness that is characteristic of this wine."

      Summer Whitford -, March 11, 2009

    • "Big nose, full of black cherry. This one's darker and fuller than its coastal cousin, with more tannins and a drier finish. It would definitely pair well with grilled meats, coq au vin, mushroom soup or dark breads."

      Paul Hodgins, Orange County Register, Nov. 7, 2008

    • 90.3 Points

      Community Tasting, Jan. 3, 2008

  • 2005

    • Wines of the Year

      Pinot Noir: Merry Edwards Russian River Valley

      Tom Simoneau, KSRO Radio, December 2007

    Read More Acclaim for 2005
    • StarStarStarStar

      “Classic aromas of earthy cherry with a hint of white pepper and spice. Glossy and smooth with a bright, zesty finish.”, April 2008

    • 91 Points

      "Aromas and flavors of cherries, black cherries, and raspberries, with firm tannins.  Bold yet elegant, with cola accents."

      Chile Pepper, September 2008

    • Puff Puff 91 Points

      "As has happened before in the past, the winery's basic Russian River Valley appelation bottling challenges its pricier vineyard-designate siblings. Long on ripe cherries with a fine sense of concentration from front to back…"

      Connoisseurs' Guide, February 2008

    • 90 points

      "This Russian River bottling conveys both nuances of raspberry flavors and hints of smoky earth that explains the popularity of Pinot Noir."

      Michael Apstein,, Jan. 22, 2008

    • StarStarStarStar

      "Complex and lovely. Aromas and flavors of cherry, cola, tea and spice. Balanced. Good length. Showy."

      Press Democrat, Jan. 9, 2008

  • 2004

    • 91 points

      "Merry Edwards has Russian River Pinot Noir down, defining it here with the delicate scent and velvet texture of a rose petal."

      Wine & Spirits, February 2007

    Read More Acclaim for 2004
    • 93 points

      "A mélange of grapes from five Russian River Valley vineyards including Meredith, Klopp and Olivet Lane, this is a powerfully lush Pinot.  Packed full of dark berry richness, it’s as seductive as Pinot gets."

      Leslie Sbrocco, Wine Review Online, Sept. 5, 2006

    • The richness on the palate is exciting.

      "The richness on the palate is exciting.  This calls for a great prime rib, or maybe a roast rack of pork."

      Narsai David, In the Kitchen with Narsai, KCBS Radio,  December 18, 2006

    • 91 points

      "This one offers aromas of black cherry and brown spices as well as a whiff of earthiness that is a beautiful complexity.  It also deepened and revealed more layers and nuance after decanting."

      Robert Whitley,, Nov. 21, 2006

    • 93 points

      "A mélange of grapes from five Russian River Valley vineyards including Meredith, Klopp and Olivet Lane, this is a powerfully lush Pinot.  Packed full of dark berry richness, it’s as seductive as Pinot gets."

      Leslie Sbrocco,, Sept. 5, 2006

    • StarStarStarStarStar


      Ronn Wiegand, Restaurant Wine, Issue #116

  • 2003

    • 92 points

      "Intense and concentrated, with ripe, rich layers..."

      James Laube, The Wine Spectator Online, March 22, 2006

    Read More Acclaim for 2003
    • 92 points

      James Laube, The Wine Spectator, Dec. 15, 2006

    • StarsStarStarStar

      Four stars

      Gothic Epicures VinCuisine, Dean Tudor, Tasting at Vertical in Toronto, June 2, 2010

    • 92 points

      "Plush and juicy …with generous, spicy berry fruit and a silky texture"

      Steve Pitcher, The Wine News, April/May 2006

    • 91 points

      Pinot Report, Issue #38

    • Exceptional

      "Exceptional, a delicious Pinot, that is intensely flavored, fleshy in texture, full bodied, and very long on the finish."

      Ronn Wiegand, Restaurant Wine, Issue #111

  • 2002

    • StarStarStarStar

      "Full bodied, round…a generously flavored Pinot Noir."

      Ronn Wiegand, Restaurant Wine, Issue #104

    Read More Acclaim for 2002
    • 94 points

      "A big and beautiful style of Pinot—has great presence now but will definitely get better in the bottle."

      PinotReport, Issue #28

    • Puff Puff 91 points

      "The wine recalls the solidity of northerly Côte de Nuits Burgundies..."
      Good Value

      Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wines, February 2005

    • Exceptional

      "Exceptional. An elegant and tasty wine that works with roast meats."

      Dan Berger’s Vintage Experiences, May 5, 2005

    • "Highly recommended"

      The California Grapevine, December 2004-January 2005

  • 2001

    • Puff Puff 91 points

      "...the most plentiful of Ms. Edwards’ very good Pinots, this well-ripened wine comes with the depth and density that are hallmarks of its maker…its palate-coating viscosity and persistent sense of richness make it a more than worthy member of the clan."

      Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine, February 2004

    Read More Acclaim for 2001
    • 91 points


      Pinot Report

    • "Exceptional"

      "Exceptional. Luscious and full bodied, this is a finely balanced wine, with a long finish. It tastes of black cherry, plum, toasted oak, clove, and pomegranate."

      Ronn Wiegand, Restaurant Wine, Issue #99

    • "(H)as an elegance balanced by a firm tannic backbone that will age beautifully for a few years."

      Food & Wine Editor Narsai David, KCBS Radio, Jan. 13, 2004

  • 2000

    • 93 points - One of the "Top 100 Wines of 2003"

      "Big Pinot, opening with a blast of black cherries, truffle, smoke, new kid leather and a thousand other scents. Rich, dense and fruity—a delight packed with pure cherry flavors. Yet it feels light as a feather, soft as silk."

      Wine Enthusiast, “Best of Year” Issue

    Read More Acclaim for 2000
    • 93 points, Editors’ Choice

      "Rich, dense and fruity—a delight packed with pure cherry flavors. Yet it feels light as a feather, soft as silk."

      Steve Heimoff, The Wine Enthusiast, February 2003

    • Puff Puff 92 points

      "This impressively filled offering is simply loaded with well- extracted fruit and is fit with just the right measure of lightly toasty oak. Big in body and wonderfully supple with an altogether classic velvety feel, it is ripe and rich without becoming hot or heavy and it carries into a lengthy, ripe-cherry finish."

      Connoisseurs Guide to California Wine, November 2002

    • 90 points

      "Very nice tart berry/cherry style with enough stuffing to keep up with most food."

      PinotReport, August 2002

    • StarStarStarStar

      "The RRV is extremely well balanced, supple and full bodied, with medium intensity and a lightly tannic finish. Tastes of raspberry, toast, nutmeg, baked cherry, and new oak."

      Ronn Wiegand, Restaurant Wine, Issue #91

    • "Favorite Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs"

      The San Francisco Chronicle wine tasting panel rated Merry Edwards 2000 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir among their "Favorite Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs"

      San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 28, 2002

    • 'Highly Recommended'

      "Shows distinctive varietal character and should continue to develop with several more years of bottle aging."

      California Grapevine, October-November 2002

  • 1999

    • 90 points

      "...among the finest we have tasted from the USA in the 1999 vintage."

      Wine & Spirits, February 2002

    Read More Acclaim for 1999
    • 91 point

      "Big and full in mouth with juicy blackberry and cherry flavors, complex spice component, good structure and balance."

      Pinot Report, June 2002

    • StarStarStarStarHalf Star

      4 1/2 stars

      Ronn Wiegand, Restaurant Wine, Issue #86

    •  "Lovely aromas and pure fruit with just the right dose of oak."

      The Washington Post, August 28, 2002

    • "Pinot Noir of the Year"

      Tom Simoneau, KSRO radio

    • Puff 90 points

      "The wine is precise in fruit, smoothly textured and fairly long on the palate, and it ends with just the right spark of snappy acidity at the finish. Its sense of seamless integration is what separates it from the crowd."

      Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, November 2001 issue

    • Second place (90 of 100 points)

      "Very highly recommended"

      California Grapevine, August - September 2000

    • "A long, lingering, delicious aftertaste…"

      Narsai David, KCBS Food News, Aug. 24, 2000

    • StarStarStarStar

      "You need a dozen o's in 'smooth' to describe this wine. A blend of four different vineyards, it captures Merry's signature style. Lots of black cherry fruit is layered with pepper notes and a dash of smokiness. Drink now."

      Wines of the Week by Leslie Sbrocco, The New York Times, Dec. 4, 2001

  • 1998

    • "Best of the Best"

      San Francisco Chronicle, June 27, 2001

    Read More Acclaim for 1998
    • "It's a work of art......stunning!"

      Tom Simoneau, The Wine Guy, KSRO radio

    • In honor of Valentine's Day, the February issue of Food & Wine Magazine selected the 1998 Merry Edwards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir as one of its "Seductive 7" red wines.

      Food & Wine Magazine

    • StarStarStar "Excellent"

      San Francisco Chronicle

    • "Luscious"

      "Merry Edwards 1998 Russian River Pinot Noir is more luscious than the 1997 wine, smooth and full with great depth."

      Gerald Boyd, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 10, 2001

    • StarStarStarStar

      "Still in its youth, but what a pretty wine. Though nice to drink now, it should grow up beautifully too."

      Leslie Sbrocco,, Nov. 13, 2000

    • StarStarStarStarStar

      "One of the best ‘98 Pinot Noirs we’ve tasted. ... A supple, well-balanced wine, with good character and a long finish. Best wine we’ve tasted form this winemaker."

      Ronn Wiegand, Master of Wine and Master Sommelier, Restaurant Wine, Issue #79

  • 1997

    • Cellar Selection

      "In this first release of Pinot Noir under her own label, Edwards has adopted traditional Burgundian techniques to making the wine, like cold soaking the grapes prior to fermentation in small open-top fermenters and punching down the cap of grape skins and whole berries by hand. This labor-intensive work produces a deeper colored Pinot with more intense berry-rich flavors and a long concentrated finish. This 1997 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir has a lovely medium-ruby color. Up-front black-cherry and boiled-tea aromatics dominate the nose. The flavors show more toasted oak and chocolate. The wine is smooth and silky with loads of fruit and soft, fine tannins. The finish is firm fruity with great promise."

      Gerald Boyd, San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 15, 1999