Multiple Merry Edwards bottles side by side

Merry Edwards Wines

2017 Cuvee Charles Li Pinot Noir

Winemaker's Comments

This bold cuvée celebrates the birth of my second grandchild, Charles Li Miller. He was born in December of 2017 — the Year of the Fire Rooster! The festive label honors his mother Lily’s Shanghainese heritage. Whenever I want to create a small, precious lot of wine, I almost always choose grapes from Meredith Estate. Sixteen special barrels were selected — Dijon 667 and my own UCD37, known as Merry’s clone.
The aroma opens deeply focused on a core of Bing cherry with sidelights of blueberry syrup and black raspberry. Licorice, cardamom, black tea, fresh earth and wild mushrooms are counterpointed by fragrant gardenia and dried rose petals.
The palate is thick, smooth and luscious, inviting us to take another exploratory sip. With lively acidity, this lithe Pinot literally dances across the palate, touching down for a finish that’s unexpected and exciting — like biting into a dark chocolate candy filled with cherry liqueur! Completely approachable now, this young wine, like my grandson, is early in its life journey and will reveal many more intricate layers as it ages.
In a dramatic shift from our normal dining protocol, we have selected a Flourless Black Bean Chocolate Cake with Pinot Glaze from the kitchen of Cassidy Foley, daughter of our Maefield House Host Julie. The intense richness of this Pinot makes a decadent dessert pairing for the adventuresome host. Enjoy! You may find this recipe on our website at

Critical Acclaim

95 points
"A cuvée to celebrate the birth of Merry Edwards’ second grandchild, the 2017 Pinot Noir Cuvee Charles Li was released in a heavier, engraved bottled. It has a similar level of structure to the Meredith Estate and is a darker, richer wine loaded with notions of red, black and blue fruits as well as notes of scorched earth, chocolate, crushed rocks, and Asian spices. A powerful, full-bodied effort, it has a great mid-palate, ripe, polished tannins, classic Russian River sex appeal, and a great finish. It’s another brilliant wine from this team that will keep for a decade."
Jeb Dunnuck, May 2020
94 points
"This is another special bottling from Merry Edwards, celebrating the birth of Merry Edwards's second grandson, whose mother is of Shanghainese heritage — 2017 is a Fire Rooster year in Chinese astrology, and a red rooster is depicted on the bottle. Medium ruby-purple, the 2017 Pinot Noir Cuvée Charles Li opens slowly to scents of red licorice, crushed stone, black cherries, woodsmoke and dried tobacco leaf with a core of cranberry sauce. The palate is medium-bodied and gives up lots more at this youthful stage — flooding the mouth with gobs of sweet, spiced berry fruits. It has a frame of detailed tannins and addicting juiciness on the very long, flavorful finish. Give this plenty more time in bottle."
Erin Brooks, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, December 2019
94 points / Cellar Selection
"A special wine made to celebrate the birth of Edwards’ second grandchild, born in the year of the fire rooster, this is a barrel selection from Meredith Estate. Baked cherry, fig and anise combine for a richly layered sensation of velvety smoothness and ample structure, with the taste of dark chocolate nipping around the edges. Aromas of rose petal persist on the nose. This will do well in the cellar."
Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, June 2020

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In a dramatic shift from our normal dining protocol, we have selected a dessert to pair with our Cuvée Charles Li Pinot Noir.

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Release Card

2017 Cuvee Charles Li Pinot Noir